As the year comes to an end I always like to sit back and reflect on everything that has happened in the year and plan for the next year ahead, setting new goals and preparing ways to achieve them. This year at Total Health Performance was massive. I am so proud of all of our team and their achievements.
Our modified strongman crew got great results once again. I really enjoy our time together. These people are loyal and work their hardest every session. They are much more than clients, they are friends, and we love them all like family.
For me, there are a couple of stand-outs this year. The first one was Bruno winning the Abu Dhabi Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship. I remember this so clearly. I woke up at 3am and saw the results and broke down in tears. It was a massive moment as I know how hard Bruno worked for this, the sacrifices he made, how much it meant to him, and it was also our first ever world champion. This was a goal I had set since I was forced to retire from my sport due to injury and to see all the hard work and study pay off was surreal. I can’t thank Bruno enough for putting his trust in us to prepare him for such important competitions and I have to thank Kyle Fish for introducing us to Bruno, Aaron, Igor, and the SJJA team. None of it would be possible without him.
The second stand-out for me was my brother Brendan Waters winning player of the year for the whole Ron Massey Cup Competition. We sat down and spoke a lot about improving his game in the off season leading into the 2016 season. He said he felt his progress had stalled and that he felt I was the person who could take his game to a new level. We worked so hard on all the little details of his game and to see him implement what we planned and trained for, and get the results, was really rewarding. I really respect the dedication he put in as it could be easy for him to cruise after playing more than 150 NSW cup games, playing a lot of rep games, and winning numerous Ron Massey Cup competitions. He couldn’t have done any of it without all the boys ripping in each and every week. I love every one of my players and it was a great season for the Western Suburbs Magpies Ron Massey Cup side even though we fell just short of our ultimate goal.
Helping people improve their lives is our passion. All of the clients we have helped throughout the year makes me so happy. Gem has helped all sorts of chronic diseases and even helped people fall pregnant that had been struggling for long periods of time through nutrition, training and supplementation protocols. Helping Parkinson’s, scoliosis, stroke, women with hormonal issues, and rehabbing clients post-surgery and seeing them progress makes all the hard work worth it.
Below is a list of some of the main achievements of the year:
Igor Almeida - came 3rd at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship.
Sarah McNevin - competed in the 2016 National Open Water Swimming for both 5km and 10km events. She just missed out on a spot in going to the Rio Olympics in the 10km event. She dropped 2kg and 14.2% body fat.
Pete Nay – earnt himself an NRL Trial game with the Penrith Panthers playing over in PNG.
Kindra Doyle – got a bronze at the Australian Pro Nationals
Western Suburbs Magpies Ron Massey Cup side finished second on the competition ladder. They ended up getting beat in the grand final qualifier.
Shannon Gallant – finished as top point scorer for the Ron Massey Cup Competition
Bryce Shaw played in his rugby league’s competition grand final qualifier semi-final.
Alfie Tropea, Marcus Moore, Ben Quinlan all played in their respective competitons grand finals for rugby league.
Brendan Waters – won the Noel Kelly award which is an award for the most outstanding player in the club (Western Suburbs Magpies)
Dave Harris – won the Western Suburbs Magpies Best and Fairest award
Nathan Waters – won the Pratten Park Magpies Club Person of the Year (Western Suburbs Magpies)
Brendan Waters – won the Ron Massey Cup Player of the Year Award at the 2016 Brad Fittler Medal Awards night.
Toby Huxley – won the group 6 premiership with the Camden Rams. He also won the players player award from that game. Massive effort after his surgeon told him he wouldn’t play again. Other THP athlete’s that won this game with him were Dean Rysko and James O’Neill.
With the year wrapping up it is easy to begin to cruise in your training knowing you are having a short break. The young THP boys have done well to stay motivated and keep working hard all the way through. The above video was taken yesterday and shows Ben Quinlan deadlifting 95 kg for 4 reps with a pause just below the knee. This was a great effort as he played in an S.G ball trial game the night before where he played big minutes. All of the boys done well in the session but thought this deserved mention.
The reason for the pause just below the knee is to maintain position in their weak point, to get some more time under tension in this position, and to create force from that weak point. Once we go back to a regular deadlift they should be able to drive through their sticking point better whilst maintaining technique.
Cortisol can be our friend or our enemy. Charles Poliquin taught me this. It is our friend when we need energy for training but it is our enemy when it is elevated for long periods of time and remains chronically elevated. Too much cortisol for too long a period and the body starts to breakdown, muscle tissue gets broken down, fat storage increases, and tissues get oxidized. Not enough cortisol and you have no energy and critical processes of the body stall.
Some reasons why you want to ensure you keep cortisol levels in check:
High levels of cortisol are horrible for the brain. Memory gets impaired and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are related to excessive cortisol levels.
Cortisol breaks down body tissues. It does this to supply glucose to the brain and muscles to help cope with stressful situations. If cortisol is elevated for prolonged periods then it can result in an accelerated catabolic state.
High cortisol levels deplete nutrients. Two important nutrients it depletes are vitamin C and B5. Vitamin C helps the immune system and B5 helps you deal with stress.
An elevated cortisol-to-DHEA ratio wrecks the body’s mucosal barriers. The mucosal barriers are the body’s first line of defence against pathogens.
The liver is negatively affected by elevated cortisol levels as the adrenal glands play a major role in the liver’s ability to detoxify chemicals, heavy metals, and waste materials in general. It does this by inhibiting enzymes that are a part of the livers enzyme system and needed for it to function optimally.
The adrenal glands play a role in metabolism. When cortisol is high you will see abdominal fat and excess fat around the hips, even in people who are otherwise quite lean. When the adrenal glands are burnt out it impairs the body’s ability to burn fat.
High cortisol levels lower testosterone. This occurs through a process known as pregnenolone steal. Pregnenolone is the mother hormone that can be converted into either cortisol or testosterone. The pathway or conversion into cortisol is much simpler than that of testosterone. It is a one step process whereas the one towards testosterone requires many steps. The more stressed you are, the more easily you will convert pregnenolone into cortisol. It is a vicious cycle (see steroidal hormone principal pathways diagram below).
It can imbalance female hormones by disturbing the timing, distribution, and output of estrogen and progesterone as the adrenal glands play a major role in producing ovarian hormones.
Persistently high cortisol levels impact recovery. Cortisol levels follow a circadian rhythm and should peak early in the morning (normally around 8am) and reach their lowest levels during the night (about midnight). If cortisol levels remain elevated at night the body is unable to shut down and begin physical and mental restoration processes that occur naturally while you sleep. Hormone secretions, such as growth hormone, are disrupted and a cascade of negative events can occur.
A high cortisol level can also impact the thyroid. The HPA axis and the HPT axis are very closely related and it is why you see that in a lot of cases of hypothyroidism the underlying cause is actually adrenal dysfunction.
Now to control cortisol levels you have to know what elevates it in the first place. Basically everything can increase cortisol levels but those that tend to keep it elevated for long periods of time are things like mobile phones and electronic devices, radiation from these devices and Wi-Fi, food sensitivities, chemical exposure such as heavy metals and pesticides, overtraining, poor sleep or lack of sleep, poor diet, problems with blood sugar, gluten, nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise, mold, parasitic infections, bacterial overgrowth, air pollution, injury, and overworking to name a few.
You can go through a list like this and check off the things that could be causing a potential problem for you. You then remove the offenders and begin to support your system so you can function at your peak.
If you need a 24-hour salivary hormone test done to know what your cortisol levels, cortisol-DHEA ratio, and sex hormone levels are then feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to give you a test kit so you can begin to take control of your health.