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June 30, 2023

Anatolii Novopismennyi (105KG) Scores World Record Squat and Total with 2023 IPF Worlds Victory

Novopismennyi once again distinguished himself from the crowd with this feat.

From June 11-18, 2023, during the 2023 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Valletta, Malta, seemingly countless World Records fell at the hands of superstar competitors. Ukraine’s Anatolii Novopismennyi can count himself amongst that fortunate group.

On his top attempt, the 26-year-old Novopismennyi successfully locked out a 362.5-kilogram (799.1-pound) raw back squat. The mark is officially an IPF World Record in the 105-kilogram division and eclipses the previous record, which Novopismennyi had also set with 360 kilograms (793.6 pounds) at the 2021 IPF Worlds. Novopismennyi wore a lifting belt, knee sleeves, and wrist wraps during his monstrous squat. By the contest’s end, Novopismennyi also notched a total of 940 kilograms (2,072.3 pounds) — another IPF World Record. The athlete finished in first place in the 105-kilogram division, winning his third raw Open IPF World title (2019, 2021, 2023) in the process. The strength athlete also captured the 2016 IPF World title in the Junior division.

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In addition to his World Record raw squat, Novopismennyi built his World Record total with a 225-kilogram (496-pound) raw bench press and a personal all-time raw competition best deadlift of 352.5 kilograms (777.1 pounds). In addition to breaking his own squat record, Novopismennyi was also in possession of the previous IPF World Record in the 105-kilogram class with a raw total of 937.5 kilograms (2,066.8 pounds) achieved at the 2021 IPF Worlds.

Here’s an overview of the athlete’s complete performance from Valletta, Malta:

Anatolii Novopismennyi (105KG) | 2023 IPF Worlds Top Stats

  • Squat — 362.5 kilograms (799.1 pounds) | IPF World Record
  • Bench Press — 225 kilograms (496 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 352.5 kilograms (771.1 pounds) | All-Time Competition Best
  • Total — 940 kilograms (2,072.3 pounds) | IPF World Record

By any stretch of the imagination, Novopismennyi is not an upstart. In the IPF’s 105-kilogram division, especially, he might be one of the more seasoned and successful powerlifters of the current generation.

In addition to his three staggered IPF World titles in recent years, the athlete has rarely fallen short on a sanctioned lifting platform. According to his personal page on Open Powerlifting, in 17 career competitive appearances as an Open and Juniors athlete, Novopismennyi has lost on just five occasions. He is a former European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) European champion (2019) and also has four Ukrainian National titles to his name (2014, 2018-2019, 2021).

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In a post on his Instagram, Novopismennyi used his victory to nobly call attention to an important cause: the ongoing war between his native Ukraine and Russia.

“This victory was very important to me because it was an opportunity to make the anthem of Ukraine spread to the whole world.”

Featured image: @theipf on Instagram


The reason six-pack abs are so difficult to achieve and maintain

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 6:06 am

Many people start going to the gym in the hopes of achieving what has long been seen as the holy grail of health and fitness: six-pack abdominal muscles (abs). But as many people who have tried will attest – including celebrities, such as comedian Eric André – this can be far more challenging than expected. André even equated the experience of trying to achieve a six-pack with being like a full-time job in and of itself.

There are many reasons why “getting ripped” is so difficult. It requires sustained hard work and a strict diet – and may also come at the cost of good health.

Many people go to the gym to ‘get ripped’. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

READ MORE: Exercise mistake that can lead to ‘reverse effect’

Getting ripped

In order to build any muscle, you need to regularly weight train in combination with eating a diet high in protein.

Weight training works by promoting a process called muscle protein synthesis. Since proteins are the building blocks of our muscles, muscle protein synthesis ensures that new proteins are constantly being made to replace the old proteins which are broken down and removed.

Muscle protein synthesis is also increased when you eat a meal containing protein. But if you do some weight training beforehand, the increases will be larger and last longer compared with if you hadn’t done any exercise.

If you weight train and eat at least 20 grams of protein per meal, this maximises muscle protein synthesis. Over time, this enhanced response will allow your muscle to grow.

But this enhanced muscle building response to protein only happens in the muscles that have been exercised. So, if you want to achieve an overall muscular physique, that means performing a variety of different exercises that target all the major muscle groups. If you want to achieve a six-pack, you need to regularly do core and abdominal exercises.

READ MORE: Major EOFY savings on kitchen appliances and cookware

Person about to lift weights at the gym
To build muscle you need to combine regular weight training with a diet high in protein. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

But since the effects of weight training on muscle protein synthesis wears off after around 24-48 hours, you need to exercise the muscle group you’re targeting at least every couple of days to maintain this elevated response. If you can do that over a period of weeks and months – providing you have also eaten sufficient protein – you will see noticeable changes in muscle size.

But if a visible six-pack is what you are looking for, however, training abs isn’t the only thing you need to do. At the same time, you also need to reduce overall body fat to relatively low levels so that the abs are not hidden by the layer of subcutaneous fat that can sit between your muscles and skin.

READ MORE: Why you should spend more time on meal prepping not exercise

To lose body fat, you need to be in an energy deficit. This basically means you’re burning more calories than you consume. This needs to be sustained for several weeks or months for meaningful fat loss to occur.

But in order to “reveal” the abdominal muscles, you typically need a lower-than-average body fat percentage – between 5% and 10% body fat for men and 8% and 15% body fat for women. The typical healthy body fat percentage is between 11% and 20% for men and 16% and 30% for women.

Trying to achieve either of those goals on its own is challenging. Doing both at the same time is even more so. While research shows it’s possible to increase muscle size while being in an energy deficit, the work required may be more than most can maintain.

You need to have high volumes of exercise – training around six days a week and doing a combination of different workouts, such as whole-body weight training and high-intensity interval training. You also need to eat around three times the recommended daily amount of protein while in a calorie deficit.

It’s also incredibly difficult to sustain these habits psychologically. It requires a lot of time to achieve – meaning you may have to compromise time with friends or neglect other hobbies to achieve your goal.

READ MORE: Dream researcher reveals why you keep having recurring dreams

And, even if you do build a six-pack, maintaining it requires just as much continued hard work and dedication. This is because we start to lose muscle gains only a few weeks after we stop training our muscles.

Potential downsides

There may also be some potential downsides to trying to achieve six-pack abs – especially if you’re trying to obtain these changes rapidly.

Trying to maintain very high volumes of exercise alongside an energy deficit to lose body fat can potentially lead to a condition called low energy availability

This condition is common in elite athletes and happens because the energy you’re providing your body through diet isn’t sufficient to sustain basic physiological functions.

It’s thought that low energy availability can have psychological effects (such as irritability, poor concentration and low mood) and lead to various physical health issues, such as an increased risk of illnesses including as the common cold or flu, injury, poor bone health and irregular periods in women.

READ MORE: This pool promises eight hours of ‘sleep’ in one hour

Low energy availability may also make resistance training less effective – meaning it will take longer to build muscle.

So when trying to achieve your goal, make sure it isn’t at the expense of your health and wellbeing.

Exercise for health

You don’t need six-pack abs to be healthy and fit with exercise such as walking still beneficial. (Getty)

READ MORE: Five exercises everyone should do to maintain strength for life

Of course, maintaining a good level of body fat and muscle has many benefits for our health as we age – including lowering risk of certain diseases and preventing frailty. But you don’t actually need six-pack abs to be healthy and fit.

A mixture of regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (such as walking or jogging) for 150 minutes a week alongside a couple of strength-training sessions is recommended. If this still seems like too much, the good news is even just an hour of exercise a week is beneficial.

The most important thing to remember when setting fitness-related goals is to only do things you enjoy and are likely to do. Exercise is only beneficial for your health if you actually stick to it. So while some will enjoy the challenge of achieving a six-pack, for others something a little less extreme will suffice.

By Richard Metcalfe, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, Swansea University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article

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June 29, 2023

Jay Cutler Names 8 of His Favorite 2023 Mr. Olympia Contenders

Cutler shared his thoughts on a stacked group of competitors.

At the time of this writing, there is still so much to sort out in regard to the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest. Even with just over four months before bodybuilding’s tentpole competition, there is undoubtedly a lot of competitive jostling behind the scenes. For Jay Cutler, four-time Mr. Olympia champion (2006-2007, 2009-2010), the bodybuilding legend likes seeing what some of the fittest people on the planet are brewing.

On June 23, 2023, in one of the latest episodes of his podcast, Cutler broke down where he believes the current Men’s Open division stands before the onset of the 2023 Olympia this early November. To say the least, in a conversation with his manager Matthew M. Daniels, the icon maintained he has his eyes on a few familiar names and didn’t mince words about potential upstarts.

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While Cutler didn’t offer specific thoughts on every prime Mr. Olympia competitor  — Nick Walker was mentioned in passing but not expanded upon — he did mostly touch every corner of the elite bodybuilders of the Men’s Open class. Here are some of Cutler’s thoughts on what’s sure to be a loaded Mr. Olympia stage in Orlando, FL:

Michal “Križo” Križánek

Cutler was impressed by Michal Križánek’s recent progress but still felt he hadn’t closed the gap enough on the other athletes.

“He [Križánek] was looking so paper thin, especially in the upper body,” Cutler said. “The arms are some of the best in the business, and it’s looked like he made improvements, which, I think he did improve from his prior showings. But I don’t know if he came down in size a little bit to gather the condition. I still feel like he’s still going to have trouble pushing the top spots at the [2023] Olympia.”

Derek Lunsford and Samson Dauda

To some, after his runner-up Mr. Olympia finish in 2022, Derek Lunsford is the next heir-apparent superstar in bodybuilding. Cutler seems to be one of those people. However, after a recent mutual training session, Cutler ensured he talked up 2023 Arnold Classic (AC) winner Samson Dauda as a possible Olympia champion in his own right.

“We just saw Derek [Lunsford] and Samson [Dauda], too,” Cutler said. “They trained together a couple days ago and Derek looks tremendous, which he always has, and Samson looks tremendous, which he has for the past few years. Obviously, he’s the Arnold [Classic] winner. The question is if Derek would’ve done the Arnold [Classic], and we could keep talking about that.”

Hadi Choopan and Brandon Curry

Cutler believes that two established titans, Hadi Choopan and Brandon Curry, have somewhat been overlooked in the popular conversation. That might be a mistake for the defending Olympia champion (Choopan) and the 2019 victor (Curry).

“Contention-wise, Hadi’s [Choopan] been kind of shouting out ‘don’t forget about me,’” Cutler explained. “We’re also forgetting Brandon Curry.”

Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay

After falling short of a “three-peat” in his Olympia title defense, there have been rumblings that Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay could take a break from bodybuilding to recharge. The Egyptian dynamo has quelled these conversations, maintaining that he’s training “angry” for Olympia redemption in the fall. Cutler believes this is the right mentality to have because:

  1. Elssbiay doesn’t have time to waste as he nears the age of 40 and
  2. Cutler thinks that Elssbiay, at his best, can still win the Olympia.

“Ramy [Elssbiay] sounds like he’s going to come back and compete, which I’m all for,” Cutler said ” … The point is he [Elssbiay] just needs to regroup and do what he does best and come in the best of his ability. There’s no real timeline on that. He’s 38, he can’t take a few years off. I hear his health is really great. I hear his training is really great. He’s had some atrophy compared to years prior on the arms, triceps, I think he’s admitted to having some downsizing there. But he looked great at the [2023] Arnold [Classic].”

Chinedu Obiekea aka “Andrew Jacked” and Hunter Labrada

Andrew Jacked finished on the podium at the 2023 AC and has already mapped out ambitious summer competitive plans as a way to qualify for the 2023 Olympia. Meanwhile, Hunter Labrada is in hot pursuit of his own Olympia redemption with a streamlined training plan.

Cutler said he liked the duo’s talent but colored his commentary as if he still needed to see more from both athletes.

“I hear great things about Andrew [Jacked], too,” Cutler stated. “The big showdown is going to be Texas [the 2023 Texas Pro]. There’s going to be other guys, too. I know there’s a lot of international shows, but that’s going to be, like, who’s not going to qualify there [in Texas]. Those two guys [Andrew Jacked and Hunter Labrada] need to be in the [Olympia] lineup because they’re people we’re talking about. The question is, can Andrew come and win the [2023] Olympia and shock the world?”

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More than most years, the 2023 Mr. Olympia is starting to resemble a relentless gauntlet from which only a true champion of champions will come out victorious. If an icon like Cutler professes so, such a competitive reality feels inevitable.

Featured image: @hadi_choopan on Instagram


Prescillia Bavoil (69KG) Breaks Squat, Total World Records at 2023 IPF Worlds

Bavoil stayed well in line with her prolific resume.

On June 11-18, 2023, in Valletta, Malta, powerlifter Prescillia Bavoil successfully locked out a 211.5-kilogram (466.2-pound) raw back squat during the 2023 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Classic Powerlifting Championships. The milestone achievement is officially an IPF World Record for Bavoil, who competed in the 69-kilogram division. Bavoil utilized a lifting belt and knee sleeves to help her with this massive lift.

Bavoil’s new international squatting top mark surpasses her own previous record by 0.5 kilograms (1.1 pounds). Bavoil achieved that squat of 211 kilograms (465.1 pounds) at the 2023 Sheffield Powerlifting Championships in late March 2023. This latest squat helped Bavoil along to a first-place performance where the athlete also recorded an IPF World Record total of 549 kilograms (1,210.3 pounds) in her competitive division.

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A first-place performance with two World Records is quite a way for Bavoil to return to the top of the international 69-kilogram weight class. The athlete was the 2021 IPF 69-kilogram World Champion but did not defend her title in 2022 as a result of her missing qualifications for her usual weight class. That distinction, coupled with undisclosed injury issues, apparently slowed some of the progress the 29-year-old had been making in a powerlifting context lately.

In a way, this could be seen as an apt comeback to glory for an athlete with 12 wins in 13 competitions dating back to November 2019, per Bavoil’s page on Open Powerlifting. Overall, Bavoil has now come out triumphant in 22 of 25 sanctioned lifting appearances during a career that began in October 2015.

Among her accolades, Bavoil also currently holds the World Record raw squat (213 kilograms/469.5 pounds) and World Record deadlift (231 kilograms/509.2 pounds) in the 63-kilogram weight class. She made both lifts during the 2022 IPF Arnold Sports Festival.

Here’s an overview of Bavoil’s top stats at the 2023 IPF Worlds:

Prescillia Bavoil (69KG) | 2023 IPF Worlds Top Stats

  • Squat — 211.5 kilograms (466.3 pounds) | IPF World Record
  • Bench Press — 115 kilograms (253.5 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 222.5 kilograms (490.5 pounds)
  • Total — 549 kilograms (1,210.3 pounds) | IPF World Record

In just her second competitive appearance since that successful Arnold Sports Festival in late September 2022, Bavoil managed to finish eight of nine lift attempts on one of the biggest stages in powerlifting.

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In an Instagram post after the conclusion of the 2023 IPF Worlds, Bavoil seemed ecstatic about her latest victory. The athlete characterized her win as “redemption” and looked ahead to even more success in the near future.

“After my failure last year [at the 2022 IPF Worlds] and a complicated injury season, I had only one goal in mind: to close this redemption chapter and finally open a new one! Proud to be the first Frenchwoman to win two World titles in two different categories! And now it’s road to Sheffield 2024 [the 2024 Sheffield Powerlifting Championships]! Time to really build up the 69-kilogram category for this deadline! I can’t wait to get back to work and show what I can do!”

Featured image: @lya_powerlift on Instagram


Health experts on why you should be spending more time on meal prepping not exercise

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 5:06 am

Ever feel you are spending countless hours exercising each week, but not making any progress?

Research has found that regardless of how hard you are working out, high levels of physical activity can’t counteract the effects of a poor diet.

And plenty of health experts agree, as nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin explains.

“When we look at our health, a good diet is ultimately the foundation,” Bingley-Pullin, who has partnered with YouFoodz, shares.

“Everything you eat will then be the building blocks for how your health responds, even if we dig deeper and look at epigenetics and genes, we now know that our diet can be the key that can increase or decrease our chances of health complications.”

READ MORE: Exercise mistake that can lead to ‘reverse effect’

Zoe Bingley-Pullin
Zoe Bingley-Pullin says good diet is the foundation of health. (Instagram)

Eating a good diet and exercising regularly sounds easy enough, but the fast-paced life we tend to lead can have adverse effects on our diets.

When juggling not only work but friends and family, we often struggle to find the time to prepare and cook healthy meals, resorting to skipping meals or grabbing a quick bite to eat where we can.

Whilst these quick food options seem convenient and satisfying at the time, they can offer an adverse benefit to our overall health.

Especially when it comes to weight loss goals, as personal trainer Sam Wood shares with 9Honey Coach.

“My number one weight loss tip as much as I’m a fitness guy would be you can’t out train a bad diet. Unless you look at nutrition as well you’re just never going to get very far or never going to get there very fast,” he tells us.

You can’t out-train a bad diet. (Drobot Dean –

“The key to weight loss I think people feel it’s cardio. But the reality is it’s probably nutrition number one, strength or resistance training number two, and cardio number three and I think if people can remember that it will hold them in good stead.”

Bingley-Pullin also adds that while exercise is crucial for our health, the culmative effect of a bad diet is about more than just excess calories.

“When we look at our diet diversity, it’s critical and plays a vital part in a healthy gut. It’s how we eradicate toxins from our body and build our neurochemicals to help us have healthy regulation of our hormones,” she explains.

“As we all know living in today’s fast-paced society it’s very easy to reach for unhealthy alternatives. Having well-balanced meals ready at hand from a meal subscription service like Youfoodz can take some of those pressures away.”

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Frozen Meals Susie Burrell

Dietitian ranks popular frozen meals by calories from highest to lowest


June 28, 2023

2023 Official Strongman Games Events Revealed

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: , , — admin @ 8:57 pm

Here’s what to expect in West Virginia this December.

The annual Official Strongman Games (OSG) present an intriguing opportunity for elite and up-and-coming strongmen and strongwomen alike to show out. This year’s contest taking place on December 1-3, 2023, in Charleston, West Virginia, should be no different.

On June 23, 2023, the OSG organizers revealed the schedule and a list of six events for the 2023 OSG over the contest’s Instagram profile. At the time of this writing, the complete roster for the competition has not been revealed. Whoever does officially slot in before early December should prepare for a slate of challenging obstacles.

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Below you’ll find the complete official schedule and event details for the 2023 OSG:

Day 1 | Friday, December 1, 2023

The first day of the contest weekend will open with two events centered around upper-body strength and stamina.

Stand or Submit Press Medley

Athletes will have the task of overhead pressing four implements — a barbell with wagon wheels, a circus dumbbell, a curved Yoke, and a block — in the fastest time possible. They will have a 60-second time limit. At the time of this writing, the precise weights of the implements have not been designated. They will be different for each participating weight class.

Stix and Stone Carry

The creative name aside, taken from the manufacturing company providing the competitive equipment, it’s an apt label for an event that will ask athletes to perform two distinct loaded carry variations. First, athletes must carry a timber frame for 15.25 meters (50 feet), then carry a set of stones back the same distance as quickly as possible. Once again, they will have a 60-second time limit.

Day 2 | Saturday, December 2, 2023

Saturday at the 2023 OSG “pulls” out all the stops before leaning back on endurance.

Deadlift Ladder

Any seasoned strongman or strongwoman competitor should probably be well-prepared for the rigors of a Deadlift Ladder. While the weight of each of the five barbells has not yet been determined, they will again have only 60 seconds to work their way through the progressively heavier lineup.

GORUCK Survival Challenge

In this event, competitors will lift a heavy medicine ball and other yet-undisclosed GORUCK implements. They will be adorned with backpacks up to and exceeding 45.4 kilograms (100 pounds) throughout. Depending on the weight class, the time limit for completion will vary from 60 to 90 seconds.

Day 3 | Sunday, December 3, 2023

Only the top 10 competitors will advance to the final day of the 2023 OSG. The contest will close with a familiar refrain for anyone who follows strongman and strongwoman closely.

Sandbag Toss

For all intents and purposes, the Sandbag Toss will be challenging but is potentially more of an appetizer to the main concluding course. Within it, the athletes will have an objective of tossing six progressively heavier sandbags over a 4.6-meter (15-foot) bar for the Men and a four-meter (13-foot) bar for the Women. As usual, they will have 60 seconds to successfully complete as many throws as possible.

Atlas Stone

The famous Atlas Stones — a fixture finisher at countless strongman and strongwoman competitions — will be the final deciding note at the 2023 OSG. The task will be straightforward: Lifting six increasingly heavier Atlas Stones onto their respective platforms. Every weight class for both the Men and Women will have a differently weighted group of Stones matched to their expected strength. For context, the heaviest stone in the event will be the sixth and final stone in the Men’s Open weight division, weighing in at 193 kilograms (425 pounds).

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The OSG may not necessarily be in line with contests like the annual World’s Strongest Man (WSM) in terms of prestige. That said, as exemplified by this event list, it remains a noteworthy notch in the belt for the competitors fortunate enough to win it.

Featured image: @officialstrongman on Instagram


Shaun Clarida Begins Contest Prep Weighing 206 Pounds 20 Weeks Out from 2023 Olympia

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:08 pm

Clarida appears more than ready for another 212 title.

Shaun “The Giant Killer” Clarida isn’t shy about what he wants to accomplish as a dynamite bodybuilder. The two-time 212 Olympia winner (2020, 2022) wants to build a dynasty of championships and eventually even surpass James “Flex” Lewis’ all-time record mark of seven titles (2012-2018). While he’s the current clear-cut king of his division, Clarida remains a long way from such an honor. Yet, his training and physique updates give the impression such an achievement could eventually be possible.

On June 26, 2023, Clarida shared a photo on his Instagram where the athlete said he had a body weight of 206 pounds. Per Clarida’s caption, the mass packed onto his 5-foot two-inch stature is a “starting point,” with the 2023 Olympia in Orlando, FL roughly 20 weeks away at the time of his photo. For any other 212 competitors wishing to unseat Clarida from his throne, that is an intimidating prospect to consider.

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In the caption of his Instagram, Clarida sounded motivated. Several recent dramatic life changes — including the birth of his daughter and a cross-country move from New Jersey to Texas  — have added a lot to his plate after already competing in and training for both the Arnold Classic (AC) and the Olympia in successive years. Note: Lewis plans to have the same AC and Olympia approach in 2023. The athlete finished in fifth place in the Men’s Open class at the 2023 iteration of the AC.

Despite the changes, Clarida gave off the expected air of a champion competitor seeking more greatness before he accelerates his Olympia preparation.

“Despite it being one of the busiest years of my life and career, between doing both the Olympia and the Arnold last season [2022], the birth of my daughter and moving my family from New Jersey to Texas, it’s been one of the most productive,” Clarida wrote. “The new environment, having the fuel and motivation with [his daughter] and always having a supporting cast of friends, family, and sponsors have all kept me grounded and focused on the task and goal come November 3 [the date of the 2023 Olympia contest]. Off to the races we go!”

After Lewis’s run of dominance in the 2010s and a “three-peat” from Kevin English (2009-2011), Clarida stands in third place for the most all-time victories in the 212 Olympia. Should Clarida repeat in November, he will tie English for second place and inch ever closer to Lewis’s mark.

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Even if Clarida doesn’t win another 212 title, his place in bodybuilding history is already secure. He has proven he can thrive at the 212 level and, in moonlight appearances as a Men’s Open competitor, has also fared quite well. Though with every jaw-dropping teaser that Clarida provides from behind the scenes, it seems likely this superstar will be hot on the tail of a legend’s seemingly unattainable record soon enough.

Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram


Exercise mistake that can lead to workout burnout: ‘Reverse effect’

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 9:06 am

Chances are you’ve heard of the term ‘burnout’ before. When it comes to mental health plenty of people have likely experienced it, especially during the difficult COVID pandemic and the rush to get back to living after lockdowns.

But did you know that you can also suffer workout burnout?

As certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist Cristina Chan explains, even the most dedicated athletes can experience a loss of motivation and workout burnout.

So what is it exactly?

Workout burnout can feel like chronic fatigue, stress in the body, mental fog and physical injury. (iStock)

READ MORE: This pool promises eight hours of ‘sleep’ in one hour

“When it comes to exercise, more isn’t necessarily better,” Chan, who is the face of F45 Recovery, tells 9Honey Coach. “This sensation of workout burnout can feel like chronic fatigue, stress in the body and mind, mental fogginess, and even physical injury.”

What is workout burnout

It can be easy to confuse workout burnout with normal soreness, but Chan says the key is to monitor whether the pain is acute or chronic.

“For example, a normal day of intense exercise will naturally leave your body sore or tired for maybe a day or two but will recover after a couple nights of solid rest,” she tells us.

“On the other hand, workout burnout can look like a day of intense exercise, that leaves you feeling more fatigued and like you’re playing a game of ‘catch up’ with your body. No matter how many nights of sleep you get, you feel like your workouts are harder to get to and never fully feeling recharged.

“Because of this lack of energy, you might also feel unusually stressed or under tension. This can also be an indicator that your body is struggling to find homeostasis and feeling unregulated.”

Cristina Chan is the face of F45 Recovery.
Cristina Chan is the face of F45 Recovery. (Instagram)

Why do we get workout burnout

Workout burnout is a by-product of overexercising with insufficient rest days in addition to poor quality of recovery time.

In our increasingly busy world, it’s natural to experience burnout sometimes. However, Chan says by learning the symptoms and taking care to avoid reaching the burnout point, it is possible to avoid workout exhaustion.

Even if you love working out more than anything, nobody should be at the gym 24 hours a day.

“Burnout happens in plenty of other capacities outside of the athletic world as well. I know that there is a whole community of people that enjoy a good hard sweat as a way to wash the day off or blow off some steam.

“And although these workouts can be great for your mental health, doing them everyday overtime has the reverse effect.

“If you absolutely feel the need to exercise, instead of going for that punishing run or hard-core session, consider a less intense, cortisol-reducing workout such as yoga, stretching or walking.”

READ MORE: Five exercises everyone should do to maintain strength for life

Shot of a woman doing pushups during her workout routine at home.
A workout doesn’t always have to be high intensity. (Getty)

How to prevent workout burnout

Here, Chan shares some ways to beat workout burnout symptoms:

Ask for help – working with a coach is a great way to get the support and help you need to truly meet your goals without over training or getting to the point of burnout.

Leave extra time for recovery – Even if you love working out more than anything, nobody should be at the gym 24 hours a day. Make sure you’re getting restful nights of sleep, staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods that supplement the body, and even taking a day off.

Reset your goals for the time being – instead of a number on a scale, focus on things like improved energy, better endurance, and feeling stronger.

Listen to your body – Above all, it is crucial for athletes or active people to develop a mind-body relationship and listen to themselves. If you are experiencing symptoms of workout burnout, especially pain or exhaustion, don’t ignore them! Give your body what it needs, rest.

If you are experiencing ongoing pain or symptoms always consult your doctor.

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June 27, 2023

The 5×5 Workout Explained: The Classic Program for Size and Strength

Filed under: Fitness,Training — Tags: , — admin @ 9:07 pm

When it comes to training programs, there aren’t too many “plug and play” workouts that virtually guarantee results. More accurately, there aren’t too many programs that promise and actually deliver on those results. The 5×5 workout does, and it has a 60+ year track record of success with a trail of strong, muscular, athletic bodies to show for it.

5×5, or five sets of five reps, was first popularized in the 1960s and has developed a reputation as one of the most reliable routines in the long history of weight training. Hit the gym three days a week and do 5×5, eat plenty, and you almost can’t fail.

Person in gym doing barbell deadlift

Credit: antoniodiaz / Shutterstock

There are a few exceptions and details, of course, but the 5×5 workout is generally recognized as one of the most dependable ways to build size and strength nearly simultaneously. It’s the original “powerbuilding” workout. Here’s what to know about getting the most out of this classic mass-building program.

The 5×5 Workout

History of the the 5×5 Workout

5×5 isn’t some flash-in-the-pan routine. It’s been delivering results for decades, due in part to its simplicity and to its focus on some reliable training fundamentals — big exercises and heavy weights. Here’s a closer look at some of this program’s hallowed backstory.

Reg Park Built the Austrian Oak

Arnold Schwarzenegger might have the physique that launched a million gym memberships, but what about the bodybuilder who was Arnold’s biggest inspiration? Surely, the person who motivated the person who motivated generations of people to hit the gym should get some recognition.

Reg Park is the classic bodybuilder who inspired a young Arnold to reach for the muscle-building stars. Park won several bodybuilding competitions from the mid-1940s into the 1970s, including three Mr. Universe titles. Park also gained a degree of mainstream popularity starring as the legendary Hercules in several films in the early 1960s.

Park’s powerful, well-muscled frame was a step up from the top bodybuilders of the day. His strength-focused training reflected his ability to “show and go” and it allowed him to become the first bodybuilder to bench press 500 pounds. This contrasted with his bodybuilding contemporaries who often focused on lifting moderate to light weights for relatively high repetitions.

Like some successful bodybuilders of his era, Park published a series of training catalogs and programs to guide hopeful gym-goers along the muscle-building path. One of his books, “Strength and Bulk Training for Weight Lifters and Body Builders,” was published in 1960. This appears to be one of the first widespread recommendation of a structured 5×5 workout, even though using five sets of five reps featured in some parts of “Training for Power,” written by Park in 1954.

In “Strength and Bulk Training for Weight Lifters and Body Builders,” Park advocated for three workouts each week. In each session, three fundamental exercises — the squat, bench press, and deadlift — are performed for five sets of five repetitions. Every training session featured a relatively minimalist approach:

  • Weighted Back Extension — 3 x 10
  • Squat — 5 x 5
  • Bench Press — 5 x 5
  • Deadlift — 5 x 5

The back extension was considered essential for strengthening and warming up the lower back. Park recommended a specific approach to each of the five sets. The first two sets were progressively heavier warm-up sets, for example, 135 pounds for five reps and 155 pounds for five reps. The three final sets for each exercise used the same weight, for example, 175 pounds for three sets of five reps.

Park also advised a whopping three to five-minute rest between each of those three working sets. This may sound like an eternity for lifters accustomed to fast-paced workouts, but such long rest intervals have been shown to allow optimal performance when lifting heavy weights. (1)

Park suggested following the basic 5×5 workout plan for three months before progressing to either a “bodybuilder’s workout,” featuring additional exercises like calf raises and barbell curls, or a “weightlifter’s workout” which incorporated lunges, power cleans and other sport-specific movements.

Bill Starr: The Strongest Shall Survive

There used to be a widespread myth among mainstream sports that “lifting weights creates unathletic, muscle-bound bodies.” While we now know that well-designed weight training programs can build stronger, faster, more durable athletes, many professional athletes and coaches used to believe this urban legend whole-heartedly. Until Bill Starr.

Bill Starr was a competitive weightlifter, editor of Strength and Health magazine from 1966 to 1972, and one of the first NFL strength and conditioning coaches as he worked with the Baltimore Colts beginning in 1969. Notably, the Colts won their first  Super Bowl in 1971 while under the guidance of Starr’s weight room coaching, landing a significant blow against the “muscle-bound myth.”

Starr was also an advocate of simple and effective basic, heavy lifting. In 1976, he wrote “The Strongest Shall Survive: Strength Training for Football.” The plan laid out a three-day-per week training plan centered around what Starr referred to as “The Big Three” — three exercises which build muscle, strength, and explosive power throughout the entire body.

These priority exercises were the bench press done with a relatively close-grip (hands shoulder-width apart), the power clean (which he called “the athlete’s exercise” for it’s practical carryover to the playing field), and the back squat descending as deep into the bottom position as possible.

The program also incorporated leg extensions and leg curls to warm-up the quadriceps and hamstrings, respectively, as well as sit-ups and leg raises to address core strength. These exercises were done with fewer sets and higher repetitions to avoid excess fatigue. Once a week, the overhead press was also suggested in place of the bench press for athletes looking for even more upper body strength and power.

One cornerstone of Starr’s 5×5 program was a circuit-style approach, where each of the three primary exercises were performed in a superset-style — one set of power cleans, followed by one set of the bench press, followed by one set of squats. This was intended to help build cardiovascular conditioning along with strength and power.

Starr, unlike Park, increased the weight on each of the five sets for every exercise. He also incorporated varied loading parameters on each day. While the 5×5 format was kept constant, the first workout of the week was “heavy” using near-maximal weights. The second workout was “light,” using 80% of the weights moved in the previous workout. The third workout of the week was considered “medium” and called for 90% of the loads used during the heavy workout.

This type of “daily undulating periodization” allowed more efficient recovery because training intensity was adjusted throughout the week. It also encouraged increased power output since relatively lighter weights can be lifted with more explosive power. (2)

How to Program the 5×5 Workout

Setting up a 5×5 workout can be simple, but it’s not quite as simple as just performing five sets of five reps on a few random exercises. While the sets and reps are one defining feature, an effective 5×5 plan also requires several other programming factors.

The Sets and Reps: 5×5

Just like you can’t do a kettlebell swing without a kettlebell, you can’t do a 5×5 workout without focusing on five sets of five. Whether it’s five progressively heavier sets, like Starr’s approach, or multiple sets with the same weight like Park recommended, aim for five total sets per exercise.

Use a load that achieves muscular fatigue within four to six repetitions while performing no more than five repetitions per set. If a load only allows you to complete only four reps before reaching muscular failure or compromising exercise technique, repeat the weight the following week. Basic strength adaptations should allow you to reach the five-rep mark.

Long-haired person in gym squatting with barbell

Credit: Denis Kornilov / Shutterstock

Any training with higher rep ranges should be kept to a bare minimum to maintain focus on the 5×5 portion of the workout. Limit additional sets/reps to one or two exercises per workout, at most.

Those exercises should either be single-joint movements such as curls or lateral raises or they should be less strenuous movements like dumbbell rows or split squats. These strategic choices will keep physical and CNS (central nervous system) stress to a relative minimum, allowing overall recovery.

Or, as Park showed the world, you can certainly perform only 5×5 movements in every workout without supplementing higher repetitions. This keeps the program rooted in its primary focus — emphasizing hard work by going “all in” for five sets of five repetitions.

Five-rep sets allow a heavy enough weight to trigger significant strength gains without the high degree of neuromuscular fatigue that can accompany one, two, or three-rep maximums. Performing five sets per movement allows the involved muscles to be put under significant total volume, which is necessary to stimulate muscle growth.

Three Full-Body Workouts Per Week

The nature of 5×5 workouts requires a single exercise per body part. Performing 5×5 for multiple exercises per body part — for example, training several bench press variations for 5×5 in each workout — would likely lead to overtraining by moving too much weight for too much volume with too few muscle groups.

Using multiple exercises per body part per session would also not allow an efficient weekly workout split since only one or two body parts could be trained in each workout. Because the 5×5 is the core programming concept, the workout forgoes multiple exercises per body part. Because a single exercise per body part is used in each session, more muscles can be trained in a given workout.

This is why a full-body approach is the only effective and efficient way to plan a 5×5 workout. Centering the training routine around three weekly full-body sessions, also creates “built-in” rest days to allow muscular growth and recovery. Three workouts mandates four non-training days.

Repeating these types of full-body workouts several times per week also allows a high frequency of training, which has been shown to be more beneficial for strength gains than training once per week. (3)

Multi-Joint Barbell Exercises

Multi-joint (compound) barbell exercises are the preferred movements to accommodate relatively heavy sets of five. This is a matter of efficiency, practicality (barbells are much simpler to load heavy weight), and safety.

Dumbbell exercises can become dangerously unwieldy when using very heavy weights due to the stabilizing muscles needed to control each individual dumbbell. Heavy bodyweight exercises, similarly, can overload stabilizing muscles before the target body part is sufficiently worked.

Focusing on multi-joint exercises, like squats, deadlifts, and presses rather than single-joint exercises like curls or extensions allows you to recruit more muscles with each lift. This creates greater training efficiency while also allowing you to move more overall weight.

In each workout, include a squat, a press (either overhead or a bench press variation), and a “pull” whether it’s a type of deadlift or something that more directly recruits your back muscles like a barbell row.

Person in gym holding barbell preparing to exercise

Credit: Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock

This will ensure relatively balanced training of both your upper and lower body as well as your “pushing muscles” (chest, shoulders, and triceps) and your “pulling muscles” (back and biceps). With proper exercise selection, your core will likely receive sufficient stimulation without needing direct training.

Benefits of the 5×5 Workout

The 5×5 workout would’ve faded into obscurity decades ago if it didn’t deliver genuine physical benefits. The reason it’s continued to be a staple program for generations is because it can reliably add muscle and power onto nearly any lifter.

Muscular Size

Whether you’re looking to be built like a powerhouse linebacker, a well-muscled bodybuilder, or something in between, the 5×5 workout can be a top choice. The calorie surplus needed to recover from high frequency, heavy lifting coincides with the type of calorie intake needed to support muscle growth.

In fact, one of the surest ways to short-change your results with the 5×5 program is to not provide insufficient fuel for growth and recovery. One common mistake some lifters make is to try “eating for fat loss” with a calorie deficit while using a 5×5 training routine.

Without ample calories and enough high-quality protein, you run the risk of wasted time and energy, and potential overtraining.

Total-Body Strength

Performing big barbell exercises with heavy weights for relatively low repetitions is a spot-on approach to building raw strength. Using a limited number of exercises in each workout allow you to focus your training intensity on the most efficient movements.

Performing a relatively limited number of sets and repetitions keeps your workouts focused on classic hard and heavy lifting which also yields focused results.

muscular man pressing barbell overhead

Credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

One worthwhile “side effect” of  the 5×5 workout is that high-frequency exposure to the same exercises can help ingrain proper lifting technique. Improved technique can carry over to better long-term gains, greater training efficiency, and potentially lower the risk of injury.

Drawbacks of the 5×5 Workout

While the 5×5 program has several clear benefits, there are also a few opposing points to consider. Any training routine will have its own list of pros and cons; being around for several decades doesn’t give the 5×5 workout a free pass.

Limited Muscular Development

Even though the multi-joint barbell exercises do recruit a number of muscles during each workout, certain body parts will likely remain somewhat undertrained due to specific exercise choice or an individual’s unique limb lengths.

For example, performing the bench press as the primary upper body pushing exercise may leave your triceps and shoulders less-than-fully stimulated depending on your arm length and specific grip width. Performing the deadlift will work portions of your hamstrings, but won’t efficiently train the “leg flexion” aspect of hamstring function which can be achieved through leg curls.

Relatively smaller body parts like the upper back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and calves receive some activation as supporting muscle groups but aren’t directly trained with a classic 5×5 workout.

This is one reason why the program is well-suited for beginner lifters looking to establish a general base of muscular size and strength — they don’t yet have any significant weaknesses or discrepancies. Experienced lifters sometimes require more precise training to target key developmental weaknesses, which are not effectively addressed by a 5×5 plan.

Limited Cardiovascular Development

With its focus on heavy barbell lifting, and recovering from heavy barbell lifting, the 5×5 workout doesn’t leave any real room for significant cardiovascular training. Research has shown that aerobic training (like running on a treadmill or long-distance biking) can negatively impact explosive strength and power, and may interfere with overall strength and muscle gains. (4)

long-haired person in gym straining lifting weights

Credit: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

Just like the 5×5 workout isn’t compatible with a calorie deficit, it’s also not applicable for those with cardio-based goals such as distance running and many general sports. The key exception would be to specifically program 5×5 in the offseason when cardio training can be a lesser priority in the short-term.

Starr did find an effective shortcut around this obstacle by training in a superset or circuit style. If maintaining some semblance of cardio fitness is a secondary goal, consider planning your 5×5 workout similarly. That’s an effective compromise, presuming you have the available equipment to use three barbells in quick succession — a scenario not likely in many commercial gyms, but quite possible in a home gym.

Potential Joint Issues

Training exclusively with barbells can be highly effective, unless you have pre-existing joint issues that preclude you from performing many barbell exercises. This can often be related to general mobility issues — being unable to safely perform a given exercise — or damage from pattern overuse — the results of performing a given exercise repeatedly over the years.

Creative exercise selection could be a temporary solution in some cases, for example, choosing a push press instead of a strict overhead press. However, for long-term joint health and overall progress, a more conservative approach is often to avoid problematic exercises (and implements, like the barbell) altogether.

Sample 5×5 Workout Program

Train three days per week, with at least one day of rest between each session. If you’re hitting the 5×5 exercises as hard as you should be, you’ll quickly appreciate having a day of rest after each workout and a day to mentally and physically prepare before each session.

Each workout includes a relatively limited “accessory” movement at the end of each workout to tack on some additional work for the chest, triceps, back, biceps, and hamstrings. If you’re feeling excessively fatigued on a given day, the final exercise is entirely optional. What’s important, however, is to not add even more exercises or volume to the training plan.

Feel free to experiment (for weeks at a time, not a few workouts at a time), varying between Park’s “three sets with the same weight” approach as well as Starr’s method of increasing the weight on every set.

Man holding barbell on chest performing bench press

Credit: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

You might find that you get into a “groove” by repeating the same weight for multiple sets or you could benefit from the dialed-in focus of gradually building up to one very heavy set per exercise. In either case, when you’re able to successfully perform five reps on your fifth set, increase the weight on all sets.

Beginner lifters would be better served repeating roughly the same weight for each workout, increasing whenever the final set reaches five repetitions. More experienced lifters will likely benefit from Starr’s “heavy, light, medium” — the first workout of the week sets the standard, the second workout is programmed with 75 to 80% of the weights, and the third workout uses 85 to 90% of the first workout’s loads. Any required mathematics will payoff with improved recovery between sessions and more powerful performance during training.


Trap Bar Deadlift — 5 x 5

Overhead Press — 5 x 5

Front Squat — 5 x 5

Dips — 3 x 8-12


Trap Bar Deadlift — 5 x 5

Overhead Press — 5 x 5

Front Squat — 5 x 5

Chin-up — 3 x 8-12


Trap Bar Deadlift — 5 x 5

Overhead Press — 5 x 5

Front Squat — 5 x 5

Romanian Deadlift — 3 x 8-12

Simple, Effective, Timeless Training

Like many recipes in the culinary world, great strength training programs don’t need to be overly complicated to deliver an optimal end result. Mastering the basics — whether it’s the perfect omelet or simple, heavy barbell training — builds an effective foundation for beginners. This pared down program can also be a reliable fallback for experienced lifters, under the right conditions, who need a short-term, general purpose plan to refresh their size and strength gains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use non-barbell exercises for 5×5?

The primary concept of the program is to use one big compound lift per body part, limiting the session to three key exercises per session. The exercises must be able to be safely and efficiently loaded to a four-to-six rep maximum, while recruiting as many muscle groups as possible.
Many barbell exercises meet this criteria. However, the case could also be made, for example, to use the trap bar deadlift (as seen in the sample workout above) or the leg press. Certain machine exercises, like a machine chest press, T-bar row, or Smith machine squat, likely cannot be safely performed with the necessary load.
Use your judgment but, when in doubt, try to maintain the focus on barbell lifts. There are plenty of variations of basic movement patterns (squats, deadlifts, and presses) and you likely don’t “need” to stray too far off-course.

Can I use 5×5 with barbell isolation exercises or single-leg exercises?

No. Any type of five-rep isolation (single-joint) exercise, like a heavy barbell curl, triceps extension, or calf raise, gets further from the primary focus of the 5×5 workout — recruiting as many muscle groups as possible per exercise. Unless you’re interested in doing cheat curls (which can be high risk and low reward) to recruit your back and hips into the movement, it’s best to avoid programming isolation movements for 5×5.
Single-leg exercises, like the split squat, or single-arm exercises, like dumbbell rows, will limit the weight you can use relative to a two-leg or two-arm barbell exercise. The added time and energy needed to train both sides will also increase overall fatigue.
Unilateral (single-leg/single-arm) exercises also increase overall stress on your core musculature, especially when moving heavier weights. This can further reduce focus on the target muscle.


  1. de Salles, B. F., Simão, R., Miranda, F., Novaes, J.daS., Lemos, A., & Willardson, J. M. (2009). Rest interval between sets in strength training. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 39(9), 765–777.
  2. Rhea, M. R., Ball, S. D., Phillips, W. T., & Burkett, L. N. (2002). A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity for strength. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 16(2), 250–255.
  3. Grgic, J., Schoenfeld, B. J., Davies, T. B., Lazinica, B., Krieger, J. W., & Pedisic, Z. (2018). Effect of Resistance Training Frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(5), 1207–1220.
  4. Schumann, M., Feuerbacher, J. F., Sünkeler, M., Freitag, N., Rønnestad, B. R., Doma, K., & Lundberg, T. R. (2022). Compatibility of Concurrent Aerobic and Strength Training for Skeletal Muscle Size and Function: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)52(3), 601–612.

Featured Image: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock


Eight hours of ‘sleep’ in one hour: What float therapy is really like

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 5:06 am

In our daily lives the brain is constantly processing sensory input – processing the equivalent of a whopping 11 million bits of information per second.

So it is no surprise that when things get extra stressful sometimes, all you want to do is switch off completely. But it can be hard to be able to do that in most of your usual surroundings.

That’s where one of the newest wellness trends can come in quite handy – float therapy.

Float therapy or sensory isolation in a flotation tank is a method known for inducing deep relaxation, also referred to as R.E.S.T (Restricted environmental stimulation therapy).

READ MORE: Five self-care rituals you can do in 10 minutes

float therapy at city cave
Float therapy involves lying in a floatation tank to invoke sensory isolation. (City Cave)

To see what all the fuss was about we were invited to City Cave Penrith to give float therapy a go.

After a brief tour of the Float & Wellness Centre (that also offers infrared sauna and massage therapy) by franchise owner Kevin Lee, we watched a brief orientation video on what to expect and then suited-down for the first experience.

The float lasts for an hour all up (including pre- and post- showers) and it is recommended that you do three sessions across an eight week period to help your body acclimatise to the experience.

What was it like?

There are a few choices you have to make that are completely up to you and your comfort levels. You can choose to wear bathers or remain naked, you can have relaxing music on the entire time, for the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes, or have it remain completely silent.

Then there is also a light button next to the pool to turn all the lights off so you are completely in the dark. Of course you can also leave them on.

READ MORE: Five exercises everyone should do to maintain strength for life

city cave penrith float therapy pool
You can turn the lights in the room on and off. (Supplied/Nine)

You also receive ear plugs to wear so that you’re not scrubbing salt out of your ears for the next week!

After your pre-shower you hop into the pool with water heated to the human body temperature and filled with 400 kilograms of Epsom salt.

It’s only calf deep but you’ll float to the top almost immediately and promptly find yourself in a zero gravity state.

Turning the lights off can seem daunting, but it’s worth it to help you switch off completely. The first session I left the music going the whole time and I could tell my mind wanted to sleep, but my body wasn’t used to the experience yet so we had a few ‘sleep starts’ or jumps.

One hour spent in a float tank is the equivalent of eight hours of sleep.

For the second session I opted to have the music on only at the beginning and the end and I fell asleep. By the third session it didn’t take long again for sleep to find me and every time I came out of the session feeling completely at ease.

You can spend as much time afterwards in the centre’s relaxation lounge until you feel ready to face the world again.

city cave penrith
Hang out in the relaxation lounge afterwards. (Nine/Supplied)

Benefits of float therapy

When in an environment of sensory deprivation (no light, no sound, in body temperature water), the brain gets a chance to stop all of the overwhelming processes and rest and restore, in what is effectively an intervention for the entire nervous system.

Floatation eases the brain into the slower and calmer frequencies such as Alpha – a state that soothes anxiety and unlocks creativity, and Theta, which is a deeply healing state.

The salt in the bath then helps your body relax and recover as well. Not to be confused with internal prescription, the Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate, a natural muscle relaxer as well as an anti-inflammatory mineral that helps the body to detoxify when used via external absorption within a body of water.

When combined, one hour spent in a float tank is said to be the equivalent of eight hours of sleep.

Float therapy can also:

  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Assist with chronic pain management
  • Help with muscle and athletic recovery
  • Improve immune health
  • Aid in the regulation of blood pressure

The writer was a guest of City Cave Penrith. Always consult your doctor before trying any new wellness program.

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