Fear Setting

New Year’s Resolutions 
With the new year brings new year’s resolutions. By this time, they may even be starting to feel like a distant memory. In fact, University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Let’s not fall into this trap! This year instead of new year’s resolutions replace them with ‘Fear Setting’ (An exercise recently popularized by Tim Ferris)

Fear Setting

Whether it’s starting your own business, asking for a raise, or training for a marathon, the fear of failure can cripple you — if you let it.

To overcome fear, you must first drag your fears out into the open and confront them.

Fear setting is all about embracing your fears! A simple process in which you write down and quantify your fears. What is the worst-case scenario? (often it is not as bad as you think). Once identified work back from that scenario, how can you mitigate these the consequences and then how could you recover from this scenario.

Prior to identifying & mitigating the fear, you should first do a personal analysis of your life. Best way to do this is to apply the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) The principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. I personally love this principle and apply it in my life in many different contexts: Work productivity boaster, Training, nutrition etc.

Follow these 3 steps to fear-setting:

  1. Do an 80/20 analysis:
  • “Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?”
  • “Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?”
  • “Which 20% of sources are consuming 80% of my time?”
  1. Write a to-do and not-to-do list:
  • “Why haven’t I done my most important to-do?”
  • “Why haven’t I stopped doing my most important not-to-do?”
  1. Define your fears clearly (Once identified ask yourself this series of questions):
  • What is the worst-case scenario if I did what I’m considering?
  • What are all the things I could do to minimize that from happening?
  • If the worst-case scenario happened, what steps could I take to minimise repair the damage


“The distance between dreams and reality is called action”

Maximise Your Next Surf

Are you ready for your next surf?
Mother Nature will not wait, so you need to be prepared both mentally and physically for that next pumping surf.  Here are my three key tips to maximise your next surf.

1. Body Prep:
Surfing is a physically demanding sport. You need to be physically ready to reduce your injury risk.
The focus for this section is to undo all the lifestyle stress you place on your body daily and get you ready to surf. These stressors involve sitting, bad posture, lack of activity.
Each of these exercises require minimal equipment and are key to keeping you injury-free and surfing.

Door Stretch

Door Stretch

Door stretch: 45sec
1.  Place arms at shoulder level on either side of a door frame.
2.  Step forward.  You should feel a stretch across the front of your chest.
3.  Begin moving your body by extending and shortening arms to search for tight spots.

Deeps squat: 2min+
This position may not be comfortable at first, that just means you need this more. If 2 minutes is too much gradually build the time.
1.  Squat deep (If needed hold onto something, eg – pole , this will make it easier to search for tight spots)
2.  Use elbows to push knees wide

Pop-Ups: 30reps/day
1.  Start on the ground, in press up position.
2.  Pop up to your feet, remain low to ground with bent knees and upright posture.
3.  Use a line on the ground and on mirror if possible to insure you are centred.
4.  Extend legs to standing position then drop into a squat and back to standing.
5.  Repeat

Deep Squat

Deep Squat

2. Mindfulness and surfing

Surfing is as much a mental game as it is physical. To surf you must be present, if you are not present you will never surf a wave to its full potential.

What is Mindfulness? It is a state of awareness in the present moment.

How do I develop this? I always advocate to my clients who are new to mindfulness to begin with guided mindfulness mediation (GMM). Start small (5-10mins daily), build the habit, then build time. It is important to understand that GMM is a practice, therefore consistency is key. Pick a time that you know you can achieve and start there.



Guided Mindfulness Mediation (GMM)? GMM is a practice where someone guides your thoughts and shifts your focus, teaching you awareness of the present moment. This practice sets the foundation for overall mindfulness.

Where do I find GMM? There are many application; websites, classes etc.

My three favourites are: Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer.

3. Planning and forecasting

Learn your local spots: At any given time, everything in a surf zone is moving: the shoreline, sea surface, wind, tide, varying water depths and water flows. With the forever-changing environment it is not easy to forecast. Take the time to learn through experience, talking to locals, forecasting apps. If you really want to be that step ahead, become efficient in reading and predicting weather maps.

Surf spot selection: Be honest with your surf ability and intention. By selecting the wrong spot, you will most likely disrupt others, end up frustrated and surf poorly.

Session goal: Regardless of your level you are always learning. Pick one thing to work on each surf. For example: lead with the eyes.

Crew: A good crew can make or break a surf. Surround yourself with a good group of mates who push your ability to grow.

Understand your board: Board technology has come a long way. Today there is enormous variation in boards. There are factors which affect board selection: ability level, style, swell size, location and type of wave. It becomes easy to get lost in the options available. The biggest mistake I see is people starting or transitioning a board which exceeds their ability level. This can become crippling to your development as a surfer. Talk to someone within your crew who knows about boards and has seen you surf, as they will understand your need better than most. If you don’t have that person, any good surf store will be able to help you out.

Respect: Always respect the locals and always obey surf etiquette

Have fun: Mother Nature won’t always deliver, so make the most of each surf. Remember it is the bad surfs which make the epic surfs memorable.


Published in Fitness Journal



Functional Movement Screen (FMS): The Importance of Screening Movement

What is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS)?
The Functional Movement Screen is a product of an exercise philosophy known as the Functional Movement Systems. This system is based on sound science, years of innovation, and current research. In its simplest form, the FMS is a ranking and grading assessment system without judgment, which readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries that may hinder functional training and physical conditioning. Furthermore, it can help identify compensatory movement patterns that are indicative of increased risk of injury.
The FMS generates the Functional Movement Screen Score, which is then used to target problems and track progress. The scoring system is directly linked to a database of corrective exercises most beneficial to the individual to help restore mechanically sound movement patterns. It is a logical path to exercise choices and program design, which is communicable between the client, exercise professional and physician. The FMS looks objectively at quality of movement, and it is extremely reliable and reproducible.

The Test and Scoring Heirarchy

The FMS test itself is a seven movement screen accompanied by three clearing tests that requires a balance of mobility and stability. These are the: Deep Squat Movement Pattern; Hurdle Step Movement Pattern; Inline Lunge Movement Pattern; Shoulder Mobility Movement Pattern; Active Straight – Leg Raise Movement Pattern; Trunk Stability Push – Up Movement Pattern; Rotary Stability Movement Pattern. These movement patterns provide observable performance of basic loco motor, manipulative and stabilising movements by placing the individual in positions where weaknesses, imbalances, asymmetries and limitations become noticeable when appropriate mobility and motor control is not used.

There are three basic outcomes here, which are:
1. You will have an acceptable screen by which it is safe to proceed with full activities.
2. You may have a screen that is unacceptable, but you simply may require a corrective exercise strategy before advancing exercise and performance goals.
3. You may exhibit pain with movement, either in the screen or in one of the clearing tests, which will require referral to an appropriate health care provider.
This is quantified in a scoring system of 3 – 2 – 1 – 0, as mentioned earlier in the article. As outlined above in the three basic outcomes, a score of three would indicate an acceptable screen with an unquestioned ability to perform a functional movement pattern. A score of two would display a degree of compensation noted when performing a movement pattern. A score of one would indicate an inability to perform or complete a functional movement pattern. A score of zero would identify pain associated with movement pattern.
The FMS is designed for all healthy, active and inactive people, and it is used for those who do not present with pain or injury.

My experience with the FMS
My initial experience with the FMS fall back a little over two years ago upon stumbling across a list of recommended books from a website called the Personal Training Development Centre. One of these books was Athletic Body in Balance, and kudos is given to it’s author Gray Cook, a Physical Therapist from the United States for the development of the FMS. Athletic Body in Balance serves as an initial blue print of the FMS. I found this book to be a highly valuable resource in how I would assess and program individuals, as it reinforced the idea of eliminating dysfunctional movement, preventing risk of injury, and adding volume and intensity to a symmetrical, functioning body. The system proposed in the book gave me a better tool to assess, and after numerous practices I sought to become registered.
This was fulfilled in late July of this year in the Level One Functional Movement Screen Course in Auckland. It was the first time this course had been brought to New Zealand. This eight hour workshop was administered by some of the best leading figures in the system, including Greg Dea who has an impressive resume’. The workshop was small, which enhanced the quality of learning, and being highly practical, gave me the necessary training in order to administer the screen.
As a Certified Functional Movement Screen Practitioner, I can administer the screen and program you to avoid the risk of injury, create more symmetry in your body, and help you work towards your health and performance goals.


For further reading:
Cook, G. 2003. Athletic Body in Balance. United States of America: Human Kinetics.
Cook, G., Burton, L., Kiesel, K., Rose, G., Bryant, M. F. 2010. Movement. CA, United States of America: On Target Publications.
Iardella, S. Exposing the Importance of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Retrieved from www.breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/exposing-the-importance-of-the functional-movement-screen-fms.
What is the FMS? Retrieved from www.functionlmovement.com/fms.