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Friday, 15 July 2011


I started training in February. It’s been an uphill learning curve as the incline of my treadmill has crept up and as I’ve learnt what’s useful training and what’s just filler. The first thing I did was to find a training partner local to me, because – as much as I like to pretend I’ve a cast-iron will – it’s easier to train if I’m fuelled by a fear of looking lame.

Anyway, Will’s been a great motivator and all-round goldmine of training tips. A man-haul sledging trip mostly works the legs and back, so I’ve been working to strengthen these parts. Of course, for balance, the other areas aren’t left out, and the core is, well, central. I was fairly sporty growing up (I was lucky to be scouted for free tennis training five times a week) but weight training was still new to me. I find it satisfies my nerdy inclinations to get it right (to isolate the right muscles).

Feb. training weekend

I’m naturally skinny and opinion is divided among adventure types whether it’s best to stay lean (less weight to carry) or to fill up on the pies (more reserves to draw on). One thing that I’ve really enjoyed about the International Scott Centenary Expedition selection process is that, although it’s been made clear that we’re being assessed along the way, the other candidates and I don’t relate to each other in a competitive way: it seems fitting that it’s worked out this way, given Captain Scott’s team’s reliance on teamwork. So I asked the others what they’re up to, and it seems the way to do it is to build a high strength-to-weight ratio, i.e. to build strength that can be worked with rather than mindless bulk (That's why I'm not buff... phew).

To this end, I’ve been trying to balance cardiovascular drills with free and assisted weights. Free weights are honest labour, and there’s no bluff with the rep. names: dead weight lifts, indeed. It’s walking a tightrope to train for both endurance and strength, but it’s not an uncommon combination in sport (rowing comes to mind).

Do you have any ingenious training tips? Can you recommend a protein shake that doesn’t taste like one? All input welcomed with open arms.


  1. Protein shakes are overrated. I go for smoothies blended with oats for a low GI.

    David Webb

  2. If you can find it try the Magnum Quattro Chocolate Love Protein shake - its the only shake Ive found that doesnt have that awful fake sugar taste/aftertaste. I blend it with 2 tbsps of ground organic flax seeds (for omega oils & fiber) and it stills tastes damn good (just give it a good blend and add a couple of blocks of ice for a milkshakey thickness). It has 60g Protein per serving, 2g Fat and 4g of Carbs. Ask for a sample if you can, a 2.5kg tub costs about $90 Canadian Dollars. Good luck with your training - following you on Twitter.


About Me

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Ali is a 28 year old Londoner. He has trained at various things, including tennis playing, biochemistry and bespoke tailoring. He currently works in social housing for a local authority. In his free time, he marinades in Antarctic arcana, runs avidly (middle-distance) and bumbles through music practice. Ali volunteers for the International Scott Centenary Expedition 2012 charity, which aims to honour the legacy of Captain Robert Scott and his four men who died a hundred years ago. Ali is one of ten shortlisted candidates for the final place on the centenary expedition itself.