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Hoka One One Mach Running Shoe Review

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Hoka One One shoes don’t look like they are built for speed. The sizeable chunk of cushioning on all models suggest they are designed with leisurely runs rather than pacy interval sessions in mind – but appearances can be deceptive. The Mach follows on from Hoka’s Clayton line in offering a light, responsive shoe that can handle track sprints as easily as long plods.

The ProFly cushioning in the Mach’s midsole is designed to be firm in the forefoot and softer under the heel, though the two sections overlap to ensure a smooth transition from heel to toe. The aim of this dual-density cushioning is to give runners a soft landing on the heel followed by a firm toe-off from the forefoot. The best of both both worlds – support and speed.

I certainly noticed the benefit in the heel-to-toe transition and the shoe felt snappy underfoot. It almost felt like my foot was gliding over the ground, barely touching it and not losing any speed when it did – in fact it felt like I picked up speed every time I touched the ground. Naturally, that wasn’t really the case and I was tramping along in the same fashion as always, but it felt fantastic, and even on the jog home after a tough track session the Mach was light on the foot and offered much-needed cushioning for my tired legs.

The Mach is at its best in faster steady runs and interval sessions, but there is enough cushioning for slow runs too – it is still a Hoka shoe with a huge chunk of foam on the bottom, after all. However, it doesn’t have the marshmallow soft feel of other Hoka shoes like the Clifton 4 – the Mach is stiffer and better for faster stuff.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Road Running Shoes

Hoka uppers have tended towards bright colours and very busy designs in the past, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I far prefer the more understated look of the Mach. The upper is breathable and treads the line between stretchy and secure nicely – it doesn’t pinch or rub, nor does your foot slip when you round a tight corner.

From above, the Mach could easily be mistaken for one of Adidas’s or Nike’s stylish running shoes, although from the side the visible chunk of cushioning – in the case of the pair I had, bright yellow cushioning – does diminish the aesthetic effect. (That said, I rather liked the yellow.)

One small note on the Mach is that it picks up static like nobody’s business. If you wear them on carpets, expect your next contact with any metal to be shocking.

The Mach is suitable for pretty much any type of daily training on road or track, has enough grip for light trail running and is an excellent road racing option too, especially at distances of a half marathon and above. It’s a cracking all-rounder, and my favourite Hoka shoe so far. If you’ve yet to dabble with Hoka’s distinctive brand of running shoe, the Mach is a great place to start.

UK RRP £120, buy on hokaoneone.eu



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Add Muscle To Your Upper Body With This 45-Minute Gym Session

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Working one main muscle group per workout – known as a body-part split – might have been the gold standard for the golden age of bodybuilding, but if you can only train a couple of times per week you need a more efficient approach to get maximum bang for your buck. This six-move session targets all your major upper-body muscle groups, using different angles and rep ranges to recruit and fatigue as many muscle fibres as possible, so they’re rebuilt bigger and stronger.

How to do the workout

This is a six-move session made up of two straight sets then two supersets. Do all reps of move 1, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do all sets of move 2. Then do moves 3A and 3B as a superset, and the same again for moves 4A and 4B to blitz your upper body.

Warm Up

Warm up thoroughly, starting with some shoulder, elbow and wrist movements, followed by some light bench presses and underhand lat pull-downs, interspersed with more mobility work in the rest periods between warm-up sets. Gradually increase the weight of each warm-up set while reducing the reps until you’re fully ready to go.

1 Bench press

Sets 5 Reps 8 Rest 60sec

Why The classic big lift for a bigger, stronger and wider chest.

How Lie flat on a bench holding a barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Plant your heels on the floor, tense your glutes and core, then lower the bar to your chest and press it back up.

2 Chin-up

Sets 5 Reps 5-8 Rest 60sec

Why The best bodyweight move for bigger arms, and one that also works your entire upper back.

How Hang from a bar with a shoulder-width underhand grip. Engage your abs and glutes and, keeping your chest up, pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Pause in this position, then slowly lower yourself back to the start.

Superset 1

This first superset, with both moves performed on an incline bench, will work your chest, shoulders and arms from slightly different angles to recruit and fatigue even more muscle fibres. Performing slow and controlled reps through a full range of motion is more important than weight, so be smart with your dumbbell selection to work your upper body harder.

3A Incline dumbbell biceps curl

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 30sec

Why Starting with your arms behind your torso increases the range of motion.

How Lie back on a incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and arms straight. Keeping your elbows in position, curl the weights up to shoulder height and squeeze your biceps. Slowly lower back to the start.

3B Incline dumbbell flye

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why It works your upper and outer pecs to build a broader chest.

How Lie back on an incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms straight and palms facing. With your chest up and a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights out to the sides until you feel a good stretch across your chest, then raise them back to the start.

Superset 2

This final superset is made up of higher-rep sets that fully fatigue your arms, shoulders and chest. Focus on form and control and if you can’t complete all 15 reps, do as many as you can, then reduce the weight and continue until you complete the set.

4A Cable rope overhead extension

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 30sec

Why It works your triceps through a full range of motion, and the cable forces your muscles to work hard in both the lifting and lowering phases.

How Stand tall, holding a double-rope handle attached to the low pulley of a cable machine. Turn to face away, bringing your hands up to your head. Keeping your elbows still and pointing up, press the handles up and forwards to straighten your arms. Flex your triceps at the top, then return to the start.

4B Cable cross-over

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why It isolates the chest muscles and hits the inner and outer sections of the pecs.

How Stand tall in the middle of a cable machine, holding a D-handle in each hand attached to the high pulley. With a slight bend in your elbows, bring your hands down and in so they cross in front of your body. Pause for a second, then reverse the move to the start.



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Functional Training Made A Massive Difference To How Good I Look And Feel Says Cover Model Kirk Miller

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Having a cover-worthy physique is all well and good but if you want to be the healthiest, fittest and best version of you possible, you need to take a more rounded approach to fitness – and Kirk Miller would be the first to admit that. Because what use is a set of sculpted abs if you run out of puff when running for the bus?

“I did years of training purely for aesthetics, so my entire focus was building muscle and burning fat, but there’s so much more to optimal health and fitness than simply looking good,” Miller says. “I got to the point where I want to move quicker and be more explosive, and I’m now training for my first amateur boxing match. I’ve had to change my training accordingly, so there’s less of a focus on some lifts, especially isolation moves like biceps curls, and a greater emphasis on cardio, conditioning and explosive moves and drills to get me ring-ready.

“I can honestly say having a more rounded and balanced approach to training and fitness has made a massive difference to how good I look and feel. Now I’m able to turn my hand to a heavy set of squats, or some explosive Olympic lifting, or even a 10km run, I know I am looking, feeling and performing better than ever.”

Functionally Fit Circuit

Try this six-move circuit to work all your major muscle groups for a functionally fit physique. After completing the reps of each move, go straight into the next without rest. Rest for 2min after exercise 6, then repeat the circuit three times

1 Squat

Stand tall, holding a barbell across the back of your shoulders with your chest up and abs braced. Bend at the hips and knees to squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Push through your heels to stand back up. Do eight reps.

2 Lunge

Keep the barbell in place with your body tight. Take a big step forwards with your left leg, then lunge down until both knees are at 90°. Push through your front foot to return to the start. Alternate your leading leg and do four reps each side.

3 Bent-over row

Reposition the bar so you’re holding it with both hands in front of your body, arms straight. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your chest up and back straight, then row the barbell up towards your torso. Then lower back to the start. Do eight reps.

4 Overhead press

Shift the bar up to hold it the bar in both hands on the front of your shoulders. Stand tall and brace your abs, then press the bar directly up until your arms are straight. Lower back to the start. Do ten reps.

5 Pull-up

Grip a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip and cross your feet behind you. Brace your core and glutes, then pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Lower back to the start. Do five reps.

6 Triceps dip

Grip dip bars with your feet crossed behind you. Keep your chest up and your abs and glutes braced, then bend your elbows to lower yourself as far as you can. Press back up to the start. Do five reps.



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The Best Workout Plan To Transform Your Body

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If your number one health and fitness goal is to add lean muscle to your frame and transform how you look with your top off, then you’ve come to the right place. This workout plan is designed to help you get big by building muscular size across all your major muscle groups, while also chipping away at body fat stores, to enable you to build your best-ever body.

This four-week workout plan, which is made up of four gym-based training sessions each week, is based on the core training philosophies used in the New Body Plan book, which details the complete exercise and eating programme that Men’s Fitness editor-in-chief Jon Lipsey followed to go from an overweight 37-year-old to grace the cover of the July 2018 issue of Men’s Fitness. Over the course of his eight-week plan, Jon lost an incredible 10kg of fat and sculpted a six-pack for the first time in his life.

What’s special about this particular plan is that as well as adding muscular size to your chest, shoulders, back and legs, it pays particular attention to your biceps and triceps – helping you build bigger and stronger arms quicker than you ever thought possible.

When you want to add a significant amount of muscular size to your frame, what you do in the gym takes on a higher importance. Why? Because without the perfect training stimulus your body won’t have the incentive it needs to start laying down the new lean muscle tissue that will transform your physique. This four-week plan has been specifically designed to push your mind and your muscles out of their comfort zone to trigger that muscle-building response. It’s a tough plan, but hugely rewarding if you’re serious about adding size.

How to follow this workout plan

A smart approach is to train on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then Saturday or Sunday, to get the maximum amount of recovery time. 

Every workout in this plan is made up of straight sets. This means you do all the sets and reps of exercise 1, and then move on to exercise 2, and do all the sets and reps, and so on. Use a weight that allows you to only just complete the final rep of the final set for each exercise.

Tempo is the speed at which you perform one rep of an exercise, and the four-digit number is the time in seconds you take to lower and lift the weight, and pause at the bottom and the top. For example, a 2010 tempo for the bench press means you take two seconds to lower the bar to your chest, with no pause at the bottom, then take one second to lift the bar, with no pause at the top. 

You will get the best possible results by following the plan exactly. Always stick to the tempo given for each move because doing so will work your muscles harder for longer, and that’s what causes them to grow.

If, however, you are struggling to lift the same weights for the second or third set of an exercise, you can increase the rest between sets to give yourself a little bit longer to recover. Try resting for 90 seconds between sets and seeing if that allows you to hit the rep target for subsequent sets. If not, increase the rest to two minutes and try again.

Workout 1: Upper Body

1 Incline dumbbell bench press

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on an incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand at chest height. Plant your feet on the floor directly underneath your knees. Brace your core and back muscles, and press your feet into the ground. Keeping your whole body tight and your chest up, press the weights directly up until your arms are straight and the weights touch over the middle of your chest. Slowly lower the weights back to the start position under complete control.

2 Wide lat pull-down

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Position yourself on the machine with a double shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar. Keeping your chest up, abs braced and back straight, pull the bar down to chin height, leading with your elbows. Hold the bottom position for a second, squeezing your lats hard, then reverse the movement back to the start.

3 Machine overhead press

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Prepare the machine, following the instructions to make the necessary adjustments so when you sit on it you’re positioned correctly and safely. In the start position you should be sitting upright with your chest up and holding the handles with a wider than shoulder-width overhand grip. Take a deep breath in, then breathe out forcefully and press the handles up until your arms are fully straight. Bend your elbows and slowly return to the start position.

4 Cable cross-over

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with a split stance in the middle of a cable machine, holding a D-handle in each hand attached to the high pulley. Keeping your chest up, core braced, and a slight bend in your elbows, bring your hands down in a smooth arc to meet in front of your hips. Hold this bottom position for one second, squeezing your chest muscles hard, then reverse the movement back to the start.

5 Cable bar biceps curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall in front of a cable machine with your chest up and core engaged, holding a bar with an underhand grip attached to the low pulley. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, curl the bar up until your hands are at chin height. Pause and hold this top position, squeezing your biceps to keep the tension on them. Slowly return to the start position, without letting your elbows move away from your sides at any point. At the bottom position, flex your triceps.

6 Cable triceps press-down

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your chest up in front of a cable machine, holding a bar with an overhand grip attached to the high pulley. Keeping your chest up and your elbows at your sides, press your hands down until your arms are fully straight. Pause and flex your triceps to keep the tension on them. Slowly return to the start position.

Workout 2: Legs And Abs

1 Front squat

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Hold the bar across the front of your shoulders, holding it either in your hands with elbows forwards and upper arms parallel to the ground, or with your arms crossed. Stand with your feet at least hip-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards. Keeping your elbows up, chest up and core engaged, squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. From this bottom position, drive through your heels, pushing your knees out to the sides, to return to the start.

2 Romanian deadlift

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell with an overhand grip just outside your thighs. With a slight bend in your knees, hinge forwards from the hips and lower the bar down the front of your legs until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. Reverse the movement back to the start and push your hips forwards at the top.

3 Leg extension

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Prepare the machine, following the instructions to make the necessary adjustments so when you sit on it you’re positioned correctly and safely. In the start position you should be sitting upright with your chest up and shins against the padded bar. Lift the bar by raising your feet until both legs are fully straight. Hold this top position for one second, keeping the maximum amount of tension on your quads, then slowly lower your feet back to the start position.

4 Hamstring curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Prepare the machine, following the instructions to make the necessary adjustments so you’re positioned correctly and safely. In the start position you should be sitting upright with your chest up and straight legs, with the padded bar against the back of your ankles, above your heel. Lower the bar by bending your knees and pulling your feet underneath your body. Hold this bottom position for one second, keeping the maximum amount of tension on your hamstrings, then slowly return your feet back to the start position.

5 Crunch

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 1111 Rest 60sec

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and bend your arms so your fingers touch the sides of your head. Engage your abs, then raise your torso off the floor without tensing your neck. Keep the tension on your abs as you slowly lower your torso back to the floor. You can make each rep harder by not allowing your upper back to touch the floor between reps.

6 Plank jack

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 1010 Rest 60sec

Get into plank position, supporting yourself on your forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Engage your abs, then raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Without letting your hips sag, jump both feet out to the sides so your toes tap the floor, then jump your feet back in. That’s one rep. Keep repeating this movement, keeping your head and neck relaxed and your breathing controlled – don’t hold your breath.

Workout 3: Upper Body

1 Bench press

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on a flat bench, holding a barbell with a wider than shoulder-width overhand grip. Plant your feet on the floor directly underneath your knees. Brace your core and back muscles, and press your feet into the ground. Keeping your whole body tight and your chest up, lower the bar until it touches your chest around nipple-level. Press the bar back up powerfully to straighten your arms and return to the start position. Don’t “bounce” the bar on your chest at the bottom of a rep.

2 Seated row

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Position yourself on the machine with your feet against the foot rest, holding a double-grip cable attachment in both hands. Keeping your chest up, back straight and core braced, row your hands towards your body, leading with your elbows. When your hands reach your body, pause for a second and squeeze your back and biceps muscles hard, then reverse the move back to the start position.

3 Dumbbell lateral raise

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your chest up, abs braced and feet hip-width apart, holding a light dumbbell in each hand by your sides with your palms facing one another. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise the weights out to the sides, no higher than shoulder height. As the weights approach shoulder height, rotate your wrists slightly so that your little fingers are pointing straight up – this will contract your side delts harder. Pause and hold this top position for a second, then slowly lower the weights back to the start under complete control.

4 Hammer curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your chest up, core braced and shoulders back, holding dumbbells with your palms facing your sides. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, curl the weights up towards shoulder height. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the rep, then slowly lower the weights back to the start under complete control. Straighten your arms fully at the bottom and flex your triceps hard before you start the next rep.

5 Cable triceps extension

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your back to a cable machine, holding a double rope handle in both hands behind your head attached to the low pulley, with your chest up and core engaged. Lean forwards slightly from your hips, but keep your chest up and back straight. Keeping your elbows locked in position and pointing straight up, press your hands up and forwards to straighten your arms. When your arms are straight, pause and flex your triceps for one second. Slowly return to the start position and squeeze your biceps hard before the next rep.

6 Press-up

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Get on all fours with your legs and arms straight, your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Raise your hips and brace your core to keep your entire body stable. Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor, but don’t let them flare out to the sides – they should stay tight to your sides. Go as low as you can, then press back up to straighten your arms and return to the start position.

Workout 4: Biceps And Triceps

1 EZ-bar biceps curl

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your chest up, abs braced and elbows by your sides, using an underhand grip to hold an EZ-bar with your hands just outside your hips. Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, curl the bar up, stopping just before your forearms reach vertical. Pause in this top position for one second, squeezing your biceps hard. Slowly lower the bar back to the start position.

2 EZ-bar triceps extension

Sets 4 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on a flat bench, holding an EZ-bar above your chest with straight arms. Keeping your elbows locked in position pointing to the ceiling, slowly lower the bar towards the top of your head by bending your elbows. Without arching your back, slowly return the bar to the start position by straightening your arms.

3 EZ-bar triceps press

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2010 Rest 60sec

Lie on a flat bench, holding an EZ-bar above your chest with straight arms. Slowly lower the bar to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides and not allowing them to flare out. Once the bar touches your chest, press it back up to the start powerfully, without bouncing it back up off your chest.

4 Dumbbell biceps curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight and your elbows by your sides with your palms facing away from you. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, curl the weights up towards shoulder height. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the rep, then slowly lower the weights back to the start under complete control. Straighten your arms fully at the bottom, flexing your triceps hard before you start the next rep.

5 Cable triceps press-down

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall with your chest up in front of a cable machine, holding a bar with an overhand grip attached to the high pulley. Keeping your chest up and your elbows at your sides, press your hands down until your arms are fully straight. Pause and flex your triceps to keep the tension on them. Slowly return to the start position.

6 Cable bar biceps curl

Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2011 Rest 60sec

Stand tall in front of a cable machine with your chest up and core engaged, using both hands to hold a bar handle attached to the low pulley. Keeping your chest up and your elbows tight to your sides, curl the bar up until your hands are at chin height. Pause and hold this top position, squeezing your biceps to keep the tension on them. Slowly return to the start position without letting your elbows move away from your sides at any point. At the bottom position, flex your triceps.

Weeks 2, 3, And 4

The second, third and fourth weeks of the plan are similar to the first. You’ll perform the same sessions containing the same moves in the same order, but with two key changes each week to keep your muscles growing bigger and stronger. In the second week you’ll do two extra reps per set of every move, so 12 per set instead of 10 in week 1. This might not sound like a big increase, but just wait until you try it! In the third week, the reps per set drops back down to 10, but you’ll do an extra set of every move. In the fourth and final week, you’ll increase the reps back up to 12 with the higher set count, ending the plan with the hardest week.



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