Client Stories 2017

What an amazing year it has been! Upgrading to a new bigger and better studio, media exposure (front page of the Waikato times and a number of other publications), finishing postgraduate studies, meeting and working with some amazing people and overcoming my personal struggles (flexibility disorder and not being able to run for 3yrs) and chasing my triathlon dreams.

My why is to champion and help others to push their limits and achieve beyond what they thought possible. As the year comes to an end, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate a few of my clients successes from this year.

At Taylored Health & Performance we work with anyone looking to get more out of life and perform at their best whether that is in sport, work or just everyday life. This year I have helped  many of my clients from all walks of life, from those who have exhausted all options with no success to high performers looking to gain a competitive edge in their life, sport or work.

Client Stories

Overwhelmed to Success 

Dan found himself in a vicious cycle with his new high demanding corporate position. Sapped of his normal energy, weight gain, lack of time, and injured with a knee that he was told he will never be able to run on again. Dan knew a change was required and seeked my assistance to gain his life back and be able to do the things he loves. With a number of key focus areas our aim was to find a balance, taking the less is more approach we designed specific strategies for each area of life to ensure his success. Dan couldn’t believe the impact across the board; with the extra energy he could now find the time to surf (a big love of his), spend more time with his family, and he even got further promotions at work. Not only this he was able to run again and achieved his desired body composition. It is fair to say he was pretty stoked with life again.

“I have been working with Luke for 12 weeks. I am so  stoked with the results. Luke has helped me overcome some long standing injuries “knees and heel’s which until recently had held me back. Luke has improved my posture and mobility, we have done this in a fun and non-stressful way. I have learnt a lot about my body and what I need to do keep healthy including my mind. My body fat has reduced by 10% through a totally sustainable regime. My surfing has improved and I have more energy and confidence in my body generally. I would thoroughly recommend Taylored Health & Performance  to anyone looking to improve their health and performance. Luke is a really cool guy to work with and will find a way to customise an improvement program specific to your needs”

From Potential Surgery to Pain Free

Unable to stand without being in pain Debbie with severe back pain had exhausted all options with no success and was told she required back surgery. After getting varied opinions from specialists she was lost and confused unsure what to do and just knew she wanted to try everything before surgery. This lead her to me, in the pre-screen I quickly identified it was not as doomed as she has been told. Within 4 weeks we had her pain free with normal everyday movement, by 12 weeks we had her back into xome pain free exercise, which she had not been able to do for so long. There is no better feeling than removing pain from someone’s life.

“After visiting Luke,I found I had so much more movement and less pain. I’ve also learnt that posture was a big part of my problem and I have to constantly make sure I watch this.Luke helped a lot with this also.”  -Debbie


Chasing “Free Speed”

I will never forget after working with Megan, her racing into our session with even more excitement than normal. She was over the moon she had  just got her result from her most recent FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test. Not only did she see a massive increase in her power output but for the first time she was producing symmetrical power through each leg where she was previously producing 4% less power of he left leg compared to her right. This may not sound like much but when you are an athlete who competes at a high  level Ironman athlete like Megan this is massive! As Megan likes to refer to her training with me “it is Free Speed”.

“My first session with Luke was a reality check for me, i was overloading muscles that would have eventually resulted in injury.  Since seeing Luke i have glutes that work & hips that are free & am balanced.  Luke taught me how to do the exercises property & explained the reason for them.  I can now do these at home to ensure my body is ready for training & racing.  Thanks Luke” – Megan


Perspective Shift Resulting in Massive Transformation

I have worked with Marcia for a little while now and what a transformation! She is a different person! With a perspective shift and a massive reduction in weight to match she couldn’t be happier. Marcia has become a teacher like many of my clients, passing on the knowledge she has learnt and helping others along their journeys.  Marcia has not had an easy run, she was another who was on a last resort with very little belief left that anything could be done.  With a history of severe gut issues, depression and adrenal fatigue along with a unrecovered hip surgery. Marcia’s persistence and commitment to her journey has been truly inspirational.

“Since finding Luke, I’ve been steered in the right direction to improve my physical health, nervous system, ability to rest and recover, as well as increasing my understanding of mobility, biomechanics and functional movement. It’s been a challenging but rewarding journey, ignited and kept alive by Luke’s unwavering support and encouragement.” -Marcia


From Postie to top level Triathlete

I have now worked with Malcolm for over 2 years and it has been a pleasure working with him along his journey as he chases his dream of being one of NZ top Triathletes. This dream is now coming into fruition after he took out the Olympic Distance National Championship title earlier this year along with a number of other massive results both locally and internationally.

“I highly value the mobility sessions I do with Luke on a weekly basis, especially during my big training blocks, before and after races. These are one of the keys to my success as a triathlete and one of the ways I manage to maintain staying injury free.” – Malcolm


“THANK YOU to all my clients you truly inspire me, helping you succeed is the reason I love what I do, I can not wait to see what 2018 will hold” -Luke



March Newsletter

img-1273-hungerHormonal Effects on Weight-loss: Leptin and Insulin

A calorie is a calorie, right? Therefore, if you have a balance between your Calories Intake and Calories Expenditure you should remain the same weight, right?


This rudimentary science is outdated and has been drilled into us for too long! I admit I was fooled for a while. What a lot of people and physicians neglect to account for is the endocrine system (Hormone system) chronic response with regards obesity.

Keep Reading


17098030_1582742898419682_8170159408750266718_o (1)Ironman 2017

Wow every year Ironman blows me away, it must be the most inspirational event around! I love going down to Taupo to support all my clients and friends, it has to be one of my favorite weekends.

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the grueling conditions which would have had to been one of the toughest year on record, you are all an inspiration!






Blog: Caffeine Effect on Performance

How exactly does caffeine affect your performance, and does it actually improve it? What doses are optimal for improvements?

Keep Reading



Endurance Mobility Training17078606_10154252679266722_383943940_n

I am happy to announce I will be running another round of Endurance Mobility Training.

If you are interested, please contact for more information [email protected]

Friday the 7th of April, 6pm



Client Spotlight



Malcolm King

Firstly, Malcolm deserves some recognition for taking out the Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championships earlier this month in Wellington.

I am proud to have sponsored Malcolm for the last two years. It has been a great journey working together helping him push his limits. Malcolm has gone from strength to strength, with podium finishes nationally and internationally. Some of the highlights in this time include:

  • 1st in NZ National Champs 2017
  • 1st the South Island Regional Camps
  • 2nd in NZ National Champs 2016
  • 6th in his first Pro Race in New Caledonia
  • 2nd place in Austin Texas, USA.

Here is what Malcolm has to say:
“As a professional triathlete, recovery is key so working with Luke has been essential for enhancing my performance. Our sessions together are based around keeping me functioning optimally while preventing the chance of injury due to my high training load.
Since partnering with Taylored Fitness, I’ve excelled in my sport with podium finishes nationally and internationally. Luke has been there making sure I’m in the best shape I can be to train and race. With Luke’s experience and knowledge, I’m happy knowing I am going to get the best out of what I’m capable of.”

Caffeine Effect on Performance

It is widely regarded that caffeine can be used as an ergogenic aid to enhance physiological performance. Numerous studies conducted over the past 15 years have documented enhanced endurance performances. How exactly does caffeine affect your performance, and does it actually improve it? What doses are optimal for improvements? Read on to find out.


Proof of Benefit

In 2009, Ganio and colleagues published a systematic review of 21 studies on caffeine in timed performance, they concluded it yielded consistent improvements in performance. The majority of the research studied cyclists, along with running, rowing and cross–country skiing, in events that are greater than five minutes’ duration. Although there was variability in results, improvements of up to 3 percent were achieved. This would be an improvement of around 18 – minute boost in a 10 – hour race.

It gets better, with results from recreational runners over 10km showed a 72 second improvement in time, while one hour time trailed cyclists boosted their performance by 90 seconds.

The intake of caffeine is critical, too little and it has no effect, too much and you can cause overstimulation and gastrointestinal distress. Caffeine supplementation at 3 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight has shown no effect on cycling time trials, in elevated temperatures to 35 degrees Celsius.

Potential Effects for Increase Performance

The effects of caffeine are well documented in prompting a fight or flight response via the neurotransmitter, epinephrine, which increases the rate and force of muscular contractions, increases heart rate, blood pressure and essentially delivering more oxygen to the brain and other tissues.

Studies related to performance have observed similar responses on sedentary counterparts when placed on a 30 minute cycle time trial. Results show an increase in oxygen uptake and energy expenditure while also limiting the effects of perceived exertion, which is a positive barrier of entry for the sedentary subject. No changes in perceived levels of exertion were also shown in anaerobic performances on athletes. Subjects on a Wingate Test observed no differences in an all – out effort, while test subjects in another study were able to increase their speeds of the ’finishing burst’ in a 1500 – m treadmill test.


What about Hydration?

Contrary to popular belief about caffeine increasing dehydration, one study reported no evidence of dehydration on its 59 healthy male subjects for 11 days over varying levels of caffeine. It is reported 12 ounces of coffee or 12 ounces of water will have the same effect.


Are there any Downsides?

High doses of caffeine can cause gastrointestinal issues, nausea, shaking and overstimulation that can negatively impact training, sleep and potentially performance.

Recent headlines suggest that caffeine could be heading to World Anti – Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited substance list as of late this year. Experts are currently studying whether athletes are using it with the intent of enhancing performance. In order for it to be added to the list the substance must meet 3 criteria:

  • It has the potential to enhance performance;
  • It poses a health risk to athletes;
  • It violates the spirit of the sport.


Take Home essages and Practical Application

  • Be judicious about your use of caffeine, and dose strategically and accordingly if you want to enhance performance.
  • To be taken before and/or during exercise in moderate quantities at 3-7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
  • Everyone has a varied caffeine tolerance, trial different quantities during training to find your personal dose.
  • Abstaining from caffeine at least 7 days before use or reintroduction after cessation at low doses will yield the greatest chance for an ergogenic effect.
  • Tread with caution and keep an eye out for anti – doping agencies.


Nathan Lardelli

Pre-Season Training: Are you Prepared?

It is hard to believe we are already heading towards March. With the winter sports season rapidly approaching, what are you doing to prepare yourself for the forthcoming season?

The biggest concern to every athlete  is injury, yet it is prevalent across all sports. In fact, according to ACC injury rates are increasing year by year!


  • 471,980 claims where related to sports and recreation injuries in 2014/2015
  • Claims in the Waikato increased by approximately 1000 more than in 2013/2014
  • Injuries to the knees where most common followed by ankles, shoulders (including clavicle and blade), and lower back.

Injury is often a result of deviations in movement. These deviations can be detected through a variety of different methods, the simplest and most cost effective being a movement screen. There is numerous movement screens the are easily assessable, we have found the most effective to be Grey Cook’s Functional Movement Screening (FMS). The FMS can help identify compensatory movement patterns that are indicative of increased risk of injury.


One of the seven tests within the FMS, the Overhead Squat, as it is a useful functional screening tool that can highlight motor – control problems and mobility restrictions. Research on the FMS is beginning to show that an individual who scores poorly on the Overhead Squat test has an increased risk of injury. This position combines a deep squat with an overhead press and identifies bilateral symmetrical mobility of the hips, knees and ankles as well as the shoulders. Mobility of the thoracic spine is also highlighted within the test.

How to Test: 

You will need a PVC pipe or a dowel to administer the test as well as a 2 x 6 piece of timber. The test is as follows:

  • Stand tall with your toes pointing forwards and feet shoulder – width apart.
  • Place the dowel on top of your head so your elbows and shoulders are at 90 degrees angle.
  • Press the dowel directly overhead.
  • While maintaining an upright torso, descend down into a squat as deeply as you can comfortably go and hold for a count of one.

Try this test with a partner and have them film you from the front and side. This will help you in analysing the movement.

Common Implications & Deviations:

  • If the foot collapses and your heels rise in the assessment, ankle mobility restriction will be present. This could be in the joint itself or tightness in the tissues of the lower extremities like the gastrocnemius, soleus and the anterior tibialis.
  • If the knees should deviate either in internal or external rotation then we can assume this to be a symptom of both hip mobility and hip instability. This could indicate weak/inhibited gluteus medius/maximus, and a tight adductor complex.
  • If the lower back were to hyperextend or excessively arch in the test, we can identify a lumbar stability issue in being a weak inner and outer core. This could further suggest to us the individual may have a tight iliopsoas or other flexors of the hip. Other possible explanations in the deviation would be poor thoracic spine mobility, which indicates tight latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major and minor.


FREE Functional Movement Screen

The first six individuals will receive a FREE Functional Movement Screen with Nathan. First in first served!








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