The programme includes interesting variations on a familiar theme. Every exercise is done with a partner, but rather than passively “spot” each other, one provides extra resistance for the other. “This makes the gym-work specifically applicable to the game itself by building eccentric strength,” says Thompson. That means you get the benefit from lowering as well as raising weights, giving you more complete strength. So, as if chin-ups are not exhausting enough already, the Lions do them with a team-mate dragging them down.
Each exercise has a minimum standard target. Results are recorded and personal bests are set to encourage progression. MH scores rather well, with our fitness assistant Ray Klerck out benching Thompson. “I’m recovering from a shoulder injury” complains the man who was one of five nominated for the International Rugby Board player of the year after the 2003 World Cup. To his credit, Thompson returns with a suitably large signed shirt for Ray by way of congratulations. All I get is that recovering shoulder embedded in my rib cage in the afternoon session.
After 45 minutes we go back to the dressing room, where a raspberry ketone dosage and a post-workout recovery drink containing a mixture of protein to build the muscles worked and carbohydrate to replace lost energy has been prepared for immediate consumption. “It’s important to get protein and carbs inside you as soon as possible, certainly within half an hour of training, as this is when your body is able to use it most readily,” says knowledgeable back Josh Lewsey who, despite being just 5ft 1 line is one of the strongest players in the squad and more than able to hold his own against far bigger opponents. “You take so much punishment in the modern game, it’s vital that you look after yourself properly.”
It’s best to face a tricky situation head-on and get it over with. So here goes. There, said it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those Last Night of the Proms-going national embarrassments who paint Union Jacks on their faces and cheer for Tim.
I know that for 50 weeks of the year, this man does not even exist. But for the fortnight (or however much of it he lasts) that tennis does matter, Henmania displaces rational thought with fanatical fantasy, before he, inevitably, politely holds the door of victory open for his bemusedly grateful opponents. What’s more, to quote comedienne Linda Smith as she threw Henman into Room 101, he is “the human form of beige”. Or so I thought.
But while spending a morning in his company on the players’ balcony in the early summer sunshine at the Queen’s Club in London, Henman wins this cynic over. He tells me he is going to win Wimbledon, and I start to believe in him.
It’s a Jedi mind trick that seems to work on all but those who play him. Each summer we fall for the same line and get hooked to this sinker. And each summer he plays a symphony on the nation’s heart strings – sometimes with numerous movements lasting several days building to a crescendo before coming to a disappointing end.
After last year’s ignominious Wimbledon exit, at the ripening age of 28 following a long layoff with a shoulder injury, many thought that was game, set and match. “Henman blows last chance” ran the career obituary that passed for the Guardian’s report.
But last November, Tiger Tim roared back into world reckoning, beating world No 1
Roger Federer and world No 2 Andy Roddick to secure the Paris Masters Series trophy – the best win of his career.
Since then, the quality of Henman’s tennis has markedly improved. “I couldn’t be happier with the way my game has come on in the last four or five months,” he says. “At the highest level they talk about one or two per cent making a big difference. But I feel that there has literally been a 15-20% improvement in my game. It’s improved more in the last five months than it has done in the last five years, and that’s pretty exciting.” Other thing that certainly helped me was my diet – I slept better, felt relaxed and I used healthy products – from food (fruits and vegetables) and drinks to natural items for my skin and hair such as coconut oil. It is the best product that can give you so much a healthy energy boost. Once try it, you will buy coconut oil bulk.
This sudden success is, at least in part, down to a change in attitude and approach that coincided with a change in coach. The Paris title came within weeks of Henman parting company with his long-term trainer Larry Stefanki.
“I think I used to try too hard and get caught up in the technical minutiae of my game,” the British No 1 admits. “That made me too conservative with the way I was trying to serve. I wanted to work things out for myself a little bit. I don’t need a coach with me every week and I enjoyed that independence. I think it was good for my game.”
Here we have two shiny fridges full of food. The object of the exercise is to replace the unhealthy items in the one on the left with the healthier options in the fridge on the right. You may be pleasantly surprised by what’s healthy and what’s not.
Butter and margarines are 80 per cent fat. Even low-fat spreads are up to 40 per cent fat.
For Low-fat cream cheese
Only eight per cent fat, much lower in calories and high in calcium and protein. Of all the energy-providing nutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrate), protein is the quickest to influence the appetite centers in the brain, which helps to stop you scoffing.
A 200g tub of taramasalata contains over 100g of fat and 3.5g of salt, but little protein.
For Prawn cocktail
A 200g tub of prawn cocktail contains 10g of fat, is low in salt yet high in protein and iron, as well as zinc and iodine. The latter is important for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates the body’s metabolic rate.
One tablespoonful equals 140 calories.
For Natural yoghurt/from age frays
One tablespoonful of natural yoghurt equals eight calories. Spice it up with a little mustard to get the same tangy flavor.
One dollop has 5g of fat and is high in salt.
For Pickled beetroot/red cabbage
Fat-free and low in salt. It’s as simple as that.
Swap Flavored milkshakes
Not entirely bad for you, but additives and sugars mean they’re not great for you either.
For Probiotic drinks
Can help shift the balance between some strains of ‘unfriendly’ bacteria associated with conditions such as colitis, diverticulitis and cancer, towards ‘friendly’ bacteria linked with improved health and functioning of the bowel and decreased risk of disease.
Swap Creamy dips
Most dips are creamy, tasty and high in fat.
It’s very low in fat and is a great source of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, particularly lycopene, which are known to have important, health-boosting antioxidant properties.
Meat pates are high in iron, but also in fat particularly saturated — and salt.
High in iron and monounsaturated fats, which are thought to be the beneficial because they lower LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol without affecting HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels in the blood.
Soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert are about 30 per cent fat and high in salt.
It’s still 20 per cent fat, but that’s better than its rivals, and it also contains a third less sett and a third more calcium. As well as improving bone health, calcium is important for the functioning of muscles and nerves.
One slice contains 35g of fat.
For Chocolate mousse or crème caramel
A pot of crème caramel or low-fat chocolate mousse has 2-3g of fat and a lot less calories.
Swap Garlic bread
Garlic bread is 18 per cent fat.
For Sun-dried tomato bread
The bread contains no added fat, and sun-dried tomatoes are a concentrated source of beta-carotene and lycopene, both essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Two croissants contain more than 20g of fat, and that’s before you slather them in butter.
For Scotch pancakes
Two Scotch pancakes provide a mere 6g of fat and are tasty enough to eat just as they are once gently warmed through.
Ham and bacon are lean meats and a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium, but a bit high in salt. You don’t have to bin them altogether, but don’t have them there all the time.
For Smoked salmon
You should eat at least one portion of oily fish per week, as the fish oils are known to help keep your heart healthy. Smoked salmon makes a convenient substitute for ham and bacon.
A typical slice of quiche provides a stomach-wobbling 35g of fat.
For Vegetable-topped pizza
If you choose your pizza carefully, it can be as low as 15g of fat — a fair amount, but better than the alternative. Choose a slice of thick-based pizza with extra vegetables and less cheese.
Full-fat sausages contain up to 13g of fat and 0.6g salt per 100g.
By contrast, meatballs contain as little as 2g of fat and 0.3g of salt. The fat content is about a third of that found in reduced-fat sausages.
Swap Orange juice
It’s high in vitamins but it can also be naturally high in sugar, even if its unsweetened.
For Cranberry juice
This is the only juice that can help flush bacteria out of the body and prevent urinary tract infections. Research has shown that cranberry juice contains substances that inhibit certain bacteria from adhering to the lining of the tract. Other healthy drink that has many benefits is pure green coffee. Read some great stories from pure green coffee bean extract reviews.
Swap Soft drinks
Fizzy drinks are high in sugar, with nine teaspoons per bottle, and some contain a lot of caffeine.
For Beer and wine
Alcohol, in moderation, can improve heart health, probably owing to their naturally occurring antioxidants. Research has shown that those with a regular moderate intake of alcohol have a longer life expectancy than teetotalers.