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The Secret to Riding Fitness Success



The Secret to Riding Fitness Success

By Mandy Thomas – The Authority in Fitness for Enduro

You’ve all seen the stories of major fitness and body transformations, and although they are inspiring, they get frustrating when you realize your own fitness is flat-lining. Unfortunately, there is no magic trick, pill or well-kept secret, the truth is they achieved their results through determination, dedication, and drive. These fitness success stories all share the following traits, so if you’re looking to follow in their footsteps apply the list below and get back in shape and back on trach with your fitness for riding.

1: Overhaul Your Lifestyle.

It’s not about a small tweak here and there to your schedule, but the way you go about your everyday life that has to change. Correct unhealthy eating habits, limit smoking and drinking, incorporate effective fitness training techniques, change your sleeping habits and renew your mind set.

2: Be Single-Minded & Determined

The decision to make the above changes is easy. It’s the follow through that takes a ton of determination. You need to bring a strong, determined attitude to every workout and apply it at every meal. See it through from getting to bed earlier, ensure your sleep is quality and all the time not allowing yourself to become discouraged.

3: Maintain a Positive Attitude

The better you feel about your body and fitness, the more positive you’ll feel and the more you’ll want to continue your fitness path. To start the ball rolling you need to cultivate that positive attitude from the beginning. Have a ritual in place every morning where you read through your fitness goals, perhaps look at an old photo of yourself of how you want to look again. When you write your goals down include how you feel when you were at your target fitness. Whenever you feel your motivation waning, repeat the ritual.

4: Ensure your Support System is Strong

Everyone needs support. Fitness success stories are inspired by friends, family, and dedicated coaches pushing the person along every step of the way, particularly in the early stages. When you hit a discouraging plateau, lean on the people around you to motivate you to get back on track.

5: Take it Slow

Hitting the gym really hard from the beginning can cause burn out and injuries. You need to take it slow and be in it for the long haul. This means cycling your fitness programs. And the, even when you have achieved your goal, remember there is there’s still maintenance to be done.

6: Expect Challenges

Fitness is not a straight line moving steadily upward all the time. Every success story has some sort of setback. Gaining a bit of weight or an injury along the way does not dictate the full story or the end results. Embraced the process and understand that you are not necessarily going to see progress every single day. The key is to just keep moving forward one day at a time.

7: Become Aware of What Your Body Needs

The more you workout, the more energy you will need. The better you sleep the less hungry you are. As you get fitter, the less you want to be carrying around excess fat and eating empty calories. Figure out how many calories and nutrients you need to get the most out of your workouts and thereby improve your results.

8: Get Self-Motivated

Your support system will help get you started, but as you see results self-motivation kicks in. Eventually, you will be easily doing it for your own well-being rather than being pushed by friends and family. Once this happens, it’s a huge sign that you have embraced a total lifestyle change. Well done!

Over the last 9 years Base Fit has been inspired to help clients country wide instil the above-mentioned positive changes in their lives, with huge success, especially for riding.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your fitness goals and you plan a way forward for your riding fitness.

Mandy Thomas // Base Fit // // 082-461-1443

Photography by Wasabi Foto

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How to Recover Faster when Riding



How to Recover Faster when Riding

If you are left gasping for air, and having to stop regularly to recover when riding, then you need to read this!

You put a ton of effort into your bike rides. You get up early to load your bike with all your kit. Then meet the lads on route, after which you drive a fair distance to get the best terrain. Once your bike is offloaded, you kit up and off you go……..

For the first hour you feel fine. But then it hits. Exhaustion! Those hill climbs are killers! You feel weak, out of breath and even nauseous. And it sucks!!

You stop and to take a good 10-minute rest, re group with the lads, then off you go again. Only to find yourself in the same shattered position again as soon as the next hill climb says ‘hello’.

Those guys passing you on the hills, who only stopping for a quick 2 minute rest, if at all – are so annoying! But how do they keep riding at that intensity and pace?

If you can relate to the above then you are in the same position as Paul was 3 months ago. He was the typical weekend warrior, didn’t race much, but of course had the dream to finish Roof of Africa. He quickly realized that hitting the weight section of the gym 3 three times a week, with two ad-hock cardio sessions squeezed in (on a good week) was not going to cut it for improved recovery when riding. Not a chance!!

So he changed the way he trained to be more specific to dirt bike riding, (rather than the beach body type strength training most guys typically do) … and wah-lah! Not only did his recovery rate improve while riding but he is now able to ride for longer and he lost 7kg of fat with out even trying! Bonus!!

So what changed? Paul’s new dirt-bike fitness routine that dramatically improved his recovery times is as follows:

Super-set a strength exercise with an explosive exercise:
Combining these two types of exercises as opposed to doing them separately, will rapidly get your heart pounding through your chest – which is what need to happen to be better conditioned for riding.
For example: do 10 push ups then immediately afterwards do 10 squat jumps. Do not rest for more than 20 seconds, then repeat. Keep going for 4 minutes, then change your exercises. Train like this twice a week.

Dedicate one weekly session to core training:
A strong core gives you improved balance, which saves you energy when riding, so it’s super important to dig deep into your core training, not leave it as an afterthought. Include exercises that require you to rotate (russian twists), hold a position isometrically (the plank), extend (roll outs with a wheel or barbell) and contract (sit ups). Combine your core exercises with intervals of cardio for example 2 minutes of skipping.

Include lots of balance work:
Do as many exercises as possible on one leg at a time. This not only strengths your stabilizers but forces your core work harder to hold your position still. Remember, you are not riding a stable object.

Limited rest during sessions:
All gym sessions have very limited rest, from only 20 seconds to a maximum of 1 minute (only if u are really sucking gas). Start the next set of your program before you feel ready to Fast-track your fitness like a hole-shot start on an MX track!

2 rest days in the week:
Yes, that’s right. Because of the change in intensity in the above training tips, rest days are as important as training days so your body can efficiently recover, prevent exhaustion and there by provide you with more energy on riding days.

Why does the above help improve riding recovery times?
1. When your balance is on point, you will save energy by not continuously having to counter correct yourself.

2. When your core is powerful, you will be able to generate energy as opposed to relying on brute muscular strength which will eventually fail you.

3. When you are fitter, you are conditioned to riding though fatigue, thereby rest periods become shorter.

Being physically able to max out on your riding is exactly what you want to justify the cost and the time you put into your sport. You don’t need fancy equipment you just need to train correctly.

If you need help getting your fitness for riding to the next level or you just don’t know where to start, then get hold of us at Base Fit. All coaches are trained to get you the maximal results for your riding fitness.
Please also send your questions to and I will address them. If you found this article helpful please follow us on Instagram #basefitsportfitness and

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Hitting the Wall while Riding



Hitting the Wall while Riding

When you suddenly run out of energy during a long ride it’s like hitting a concrete wall.

It comes so quickly that the one minute you’re keeping up with your friends on a tough, long ride. The next minute they’re disappearing up the hills and you’re left behind, feeling shattered.

Did you know it may not be because they’re fitter than you!

This crash happens when your body runs out of its preferred fuel: glycogen – which is the energy you get when you eat carbohydrates. If you’re well fuelled before you start riding, you should have enough glycogen to last you approximately 90 minutes, depending on your fitness, body size, and riding intensity.

As it runs out, your body will progressively switch over to using fat as a fuel instead. Nothing wrong with that if you are okay with being slower than a sloth.


During a three-hour ride, you’ll work your way through more calories than you would typically eat on a really generous day. So riding hard without constantly refuelling will leave you with a massive calorie deficit. This drops your riding performance like a hot potato, and your concentration goes through the window. Not a good idea when on a technical trail.


The best way to avoid these crashes is to eat somewhere between 100 and 250 calories every 30 minutes (more if you’re racing). You don’t need to calculate everything to the nearest gram, but experiment a bit with what works
best for you. Just remember that the harder you ride, the more calories you need to replace.
Everyone responds differently so stick to what works for you and you’ll ride stronger and recover quicker.

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Cramping While Riding



Cramping While Riding

Below are the reasons why you might be cramping:


Dehydration can occur when you ride hard in hot conditions and do not drink sufficient liquid.

Muscles are activated by a balance of electric signals. Dehydration changes the signals so body doesn’t know if the signal is coming from the brain or just because there’s an electrical imbalance around the cell.

With all this confusion, your muscles have difficulty processing the right signals. And that over activity results in pain. This type of cramp can be solved with drinking lots of water.

Tip: Stay hydrated. Not just while you are riding but in the few days leading up to a big ride. Below you will see our hydration plan for big rides or long races.

 Mineral Deficiency

A mineral deficiency involving potassium, calcium, magnesium and/or sodium can cause your muscles to spasm while riding.

Drinking to much water (for example 3 litres or more water than your usual daily water intake) – this can ‘wash’ the above-mentioned minerals out of your body and lead to cramps.

Tip: As you increase your water intake in preparation for big rides, insure you are increasing your mineral intake to match. You can either include your preferred riding supplement in your daily water in take or double up on your mineral supplementation.

Lack of Fitness

Lack of fitness can also cause spasms, as well-trained muscles are less likely to cramp. If you are not properly conditioned to the intensity of your rides, you may experience cramps because your muscles are not used effectively.

Tip: Ensure your fitness is up to par, as well as your stamina. You will need to cycle your training in the gym to include longer sessions at high intensities, maintaining a heart rate of 70% while including resistance work. If you need assistance here please send a mail to with “Stamina” in the subject line.

Holding a position for a long time

It’s common to get a muscle strain after holding a position for a prolonged period. Doing something your body isn’t trained to do constantly activates the muscle and starts to break it down. This breakdown causes a build-up of lactic acid which can trigger to muscle to go into spasm. This kind of cramp typically goes away only with time which does not help when you are racing.

Tip: Staying balanced is critical. Your intensive core training will help you here. Try to position your body weight so that the bike pushes you, rather than pulling you. Practice shifting your weight forward during acceleration and shifting your weight back during braking, will help keep your body fluid, which will help prevent cramping. 

Nerve compression

There’s a series of nerves going all the way from your brain down your spinal cord. Anything can cause a nerve to get compressed including putting yourself in a weird position, which will irritate the nerve. It is important that your body position is correct for you and comfortable.

Tip: If your bike is not set up and individualized, you will end up working harder than you need to and will feel discomfort. Be sure your suspension, bar position, lever position and grip compound are all set up properly.

Inadequate blood supply

Another possible reason for muscle cramps is an inadequate blood supply. Which literally means you aren’t getting enough blood flow to your legs or arms.

Tip: Warm up before you go out on track. A quick jog through the pits or some other exercises to get your blood flowing will encourage circulation through the arms. Ask us for the pre-race warm up by sending ‘PRE-RACE WARM UP’ to Also, make sure your clothing is not to tight which may impede blood flow.

Localised Muscle Overuse

This form of cramp usually occurs towards the end of a long ride. It happens when one particular muscle group is being over used, and the lactic acid build up is not getting time to dissipate. This happens even if you are well trained, as the muscles are being pushed to their limits.

Tip: This is the easiest of cramps to fix. As soon as you feel the cramp coming on, take an antacid with lots of water. The antacid will draw the lactic acid build up out of your cramping muscles and into your stomach. Macke sure you continue to drink water and if possible snack on something. Please note antacids should only be taken after you feel the offending cramp begin.

Lastly…. Breathe!

Forgetting to breathe deeply while riding, as silly as it may sound, is one of the most common causes of cramps especially in beginner-level riders. Paying attention to your breathing will also help you relax.

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Mental Fitness



Being Fit to Ride Starts with Mental Fitness

Your emotions are the language of your body and drive your every decision, on and off the bike. It is therefore a wise move to make sure you and your family are mentally as well as physically fit and healthy so you can plan on maintaining a successful riding hobby and happy riding family.

Typically when people just start on their fitness journey they hit a speed bump, which quickly becomes their excuse for quitting by making it out to be much worse than what it actually is. But the paradox of success in anything is the ability to negotiate your way through failures to achieve what you want. So here is a guideline of how to make challenges work for you:  
  • See things as they are, not worse than what they are. Nothing is impossible to change so don’t make it so in your mind.
  • Instead of letting things get the better of you, understand that every time you fail, you actually get closer to the goal, as you are growing.
  • Change your immediate objective, so instead of worrying about the end goal (for example lose 5kgs or get fit to ride), rather focus on doing your abdominal stability sessions 3 times a week, for example, this way you still win.

There is no magic pill when it comes to wellness, only magic processes. Neither is their one silver bullet – you have to do all of them as nothing works in isolation. Now as common sense is not common practice, I have listed 4 tips below that you actually know but probably don’t do:

  1. HAVE A GOOD BRAIN DIET – Eat for performance and/or recovery. You are what you eat, so what you eat matters to your brain. Eat plenty of avocados, blueberries, broccoli, coconut oil, eggs, salmon, turmeric, walnuts, spinach, and kale.
  2. ELIMINATE AUTOMATIC NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. So no more complaining, as it is so easy to get addicted to moaning. Remember you wire your brain to whatever you are rehearsing in your mind because all behaviours are belief driven.
  3. ANALYSE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS – Who you spend time with is who you become. We are always imitating people: their habits, their thought patterns, their behaviours. If you hang around 4 unhealthy miserable people, guess what, you will become the 5th
  4. GET QUALITY DEEP SLEEP: When you sleep you consolidate long term and short-term memory which cleans out the plaque that can cause dementia or other age related issues. Also, don’t sleep with the phone on near you. There is an electromagnetic field around your brain which electronic devices interfere with.

Then lastly, don’t blame other people and things for your situation. That means you have no control over your thoughts or feeling, meaning you are a victim to your environment. But when you change your thoughts and feeling first, you become the creator of your life.
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Emotional Fitness



Emotional Fitness

Your emotions are the language of your body and drive your every decision. It is therefore an incredibly wise move to make sure this powerful force is fit, flexible and healthy if you plan on any form of success in your life including wellness, family and career.
Below are 5 teaching points with corresponding videos to start your journey to emotional fitness. Work with one every day, completing the worksheets over the next 5 days. By the end of this series you will have a noticeably clear understanding on what your stumbling blocks are and how to overcome them.
Please let me know how you manage and if you need any further assistance. Please mail me on, I would love to hear from you.

Emotional Fitness Lesson 1:

Making Excuses

Please see corresponding video link: click here

Typically when people just start on their fitness journey they hit a speed bump. How they handle this speed bump very much depends on their emotional fitness.
Most though, are not emotionally fit so use this speed bump as their excuse for quitting, by making it out to be much worse than what it actually is.
Why do they do this? Because it is a very convenient way to let themselves off the hook, to prevent potential failure, to avoid disappointment ….. so they don’t have to even try.
• But the truth is basically coming down to lack of conviction in their goals and belief in their ability to succeed.
• Emotional fitness is not taught.
• Mastering your emotions over all is not taught.
• Understanding root causes of emotions is not taught.
We are just told to be disciplined and to stay positive. But discipline alone does not always work long term because it can overshadow the truth.
Your homework for today: Take 15 minutes and answer the below questions honestly.

1. Why have I set the goals for myself that I have in place? What is the deep emotional driving factor?



2. Am I using this goal as a distraction, am I hiding or using it as an excuse to avoid a shadow part of myself or my life?



3. Can I become positively addicted to the outcome of my goal/s?



Becoming positively addicted to the outcome is a sure way to stay on track as it can be used to trade one addiction for another. There will then be a shift from having to do something to wanting to do something.
Ensure your goals are compelling for the right reasons, much more so than any struggle, the juicer the more energy you will have. Hold on to your vision, as if you don’t, you will fall off the wagon. No vision means you are going down.
At anytime you hit a speed bump, see things as they are, not worse than what they are. In fact, try find a way to see things better than what they are. Nothing is impossible to change so don’t make it so in your mind.
Remember to watch the video here

Emotional Fitness Lesson 2:

Paradox of Success

Please see corresponding video link: click here

of you. You may give up, making out that the situation is worse than what it actually is. Then you start with your excuses (see video 1) to let yourself off the hook.
Edison failed 3000 times before he got the light bulb right. But he didn’t see is a failure. He said it took 3000 steps to get to his goal.
So in reality every time you fail, you actually get closer to the goal, because if you knew how to do it you would just be moving laterally, not growing. Because you are going after a new goal or new level of success, you will make mistakes as you don’t know it all.
Understand that mistakes are just steps taking you to where you are going.
A trick here is to change your immediate objective, not to worry too much about the end goal (for example lose 5kgs or get fit to ride), but to get to the gym 3 times a week. Once you have done that you are successful, you would have accomplished what you wanted to do just by getting your sessions in. Win!!
The more ‘reps’ you complete of going to the gym you will eventually master the way you train to get the results you want.
You just have to keep going and keep going. And every time you feel like quitting think of a time where you felt sorry for yourself – that is not a good feeling. You want to feel good about yourself and feel that you are giving it your best.
So the paradox of success is negotiating your way through a lot of failures to get there. If you think you are going to enjoy great success, one win after the other you are kidding yourself. That is just not going to happen.
Your homework for today: Take 15 minutes and answer the below questions honestly.
1: What setbacks have you experienced in the past which have actually turned out to be blessings in disguise?



2: What repetitive sets backs do you find you come up against when you are forging forward on your goals?



Remember to watch the video here

Emotional Fitness Lesson 3:


Breathing Life into Your Goals

Please see corresponding video link: click here

So you set the intention to be fitter, healthier, thinner, more disciplined, more active… but then you get so wrapped up in your current state or worse, memories of the past that get in the way of you achieving your goals. What you need to realise is there is a massive gap between the goal you set and how you feel about yourself right now.
There are three steps here that you need to follow:
Step 1: Set the vision of yourself achieving the outcome you want. Get as much detail as you can. Create a motion picture in your mind of what it looks like. The more specific you can be with this vision the more moving parts you can have the more you can rehearse that movie, the more your set up your map to the future. This is your intention
Step 2: Once you have that intention you must combine it with emotion. Most people miss out on this second step. You MUST get emotionally involved with that motion picture of your future vision by feeling the emotion of it as if it was your reality in the present now.
So imagine yourself fit now, finishing that race, being pain free, being thinner…whatever your vision for the future is. The trick it’s to switch things around: Don’t wait for something outside of you to feel better, feel better form the inside first. Takes a lot of emotional fitness to do this.
Step 3: Be aware not to slip back to your old habits or old self. That means not acting out emotionally or blame others and expect your future to change.

Your homework for today: Take 15 minutes and answer the below questions honestly.
1: What are your unconscious habits and emotions that you have anchored into you form the past that do not serve you? What emotions can you replace them with?

2: You can’t change your future without changing your emotional state. This means there may be aspects of your personality you need to ‘upgrade’. What personality changes do you feel you can make?



When you start losing track of your vison it is normally because you are emotional. You can’t see your future because you are looking at it through the lens of the past.
Emotions are only a record of the past. We are a work in progress so we must prime ourselves for the future.
Remember to watch the video here

Emotional Fitness Lesson 4:


Treat Your Brain Like an Athlete

Please see corresponding video link: click here

Common sense is not common practice! You actually know what to do but you don’t do it.
But everyone wants to know what the magic pill is – there is no magic pill, only magic processes. Or what is the one silver bullet – well you have to do all of them actually. Nothing works in isolation – hence why Base Fit has developed our Bridging the Gap initiative. We believe in following the 80/20 rule, where doing the 20% of what counts to give your 80% of the results. Below is the 20% you can start doing now:

1: GOOD BRAIN DIET – Eat for performance and/or recovery. You are what you eat, so what you eat matters to your brain. Eat plenty of avocados, blueberries, broccoli, coconut oil, eggs, salmon, turmeric, walnuts, spinach, and kale.

2: KILLING A.N.T.S. (Jim Kwik) – Eliminating automatic negative thoughts. So no more complaining, as it is so easy to get addicted to moaning. Remember you wire your brain to whatever you are rehearsing in your mind because all behaviours are belief driven.

3: POSITIVE PEER GROUP / ANALYSE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS – Who you spend time with is who you become. (See my video on mirror neurons ). We are always imitating people: their habits, their thought patterns, their behaviours. So that is why who you spend time with is who you become. If you hang around 4 unhealthy miserable people, guess what, you will become the 5th

4: CLEAN ENVIRONMENT: You know when you clean your desk or your laptop how you have clarity of thought, right? Well the same goes for getting fresh air, drinking clean pollutant free water as this is good for your brain.

5: SLEEP: Consolidates long term and short-term memory. Helps clean out the plaque that can cause dementia or other age related issue (latest research). So many great inventions and ideas were first delivered though a dream. Your brain does not shut off at night – it is actually more active. It’s coming up with creative solutions. Also, don’t sleep with the phone on nears you. There is an electromagnetic field around your brain which electronic devices interfere with.
Your homework for today: Take 10 minutes and answer the below questions honestly.

1: What can you improve upon looking at the above list? What must you add an what must you stop doing?



To have true emotional fitness is looking after your brain, treating like you would an athlete. Keep learning to maintain novelty, feed it well and protect it.
Remember to watch the video here

Emotional Fitness Lesson 5:


How to Get What You Want

Please see corresponding video link: click here

People spend 70% of their time in a stress mode. Which means you are going nowhere fast, and feeling exhausted while getting there.
We have an electromagnetic field around us. When it is strong it can be up to 3m in front of us, but the size of this field is determined by our state of mind.
When you are in a negative headspace (angry, depressed or frustrated) this field shrinks. This because mentally your focus becomes more narrow so it closes the field, and physically your heart beats out of rhythm and you breath shorter and faster (stress, anxiety). Therefore you start using all up all your vital energy from the field to survive. This is the same energy you need to create, to grow and be healthy.
So if you consciously breath slower and deeper, you will slow your heat rate down, your focus will open, your electromagnetic field grows. Like a wave back to it’s 3m capacity. Now that wave is energy, and energy carries frequency and frequency carries information.
• So what is the information it is carrying? It’s your thoughts of fitness, happiness, health, wellness, success.
• Thoughts of anger, depression, frustration etc are not going to carry the thought of your wellness, as it is a different frequency.
So how do you elevate your emotions? You consciously rest your intention, start calling up preferred emotions along with the outcome you wish then you keep practising it, holding it for longer and longer. This can be done in meditation, or if you find yourself in a negative mood.
When you activate your electromagnetic field you get an increase in energy. Now why would you sacrifice that for a negative emotion which will sap that energy?
Keep doing this to reset your base line. Especially if you are an anxious of depressed person. There for the more you practice moving into an elevated state the more familiar it will become
Think about this: Thoughts produce an energetical charge. Feelings produce a magnetic charge. So collectively they produce an electromagnetic field. Thoughts send out the intention – feeling bring it back. Therefore you must not wait for whatever you want to materialise before you feel great as that way you are not attracting it back to you.
Then lastly, don’t blame other people and things for your situation. That means you have no control over your thoughts or feeling, meaning you are a victim to your environment. But when you do it the other way around and change your thoughts and feeling first, your situation will change. Be the creator of your life.


Remember to watch the video here

“Thank you for joining me on the Five Thirty Club Emotional Fitness Journey. I hope it helped you, if so, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a mail at”
Before I go, remember this: A successful wellness lifestyle is a path encompassing a sound mind with continuous growth, the maintenance of a strong and stable core, full range of joint mobility and all the time having fun doing it. Base Fit has programs encompassing all tailored to suit your needs, ability and goals. If you are not already on one of our programs and would like more details please add EMOTIONAL FITNESS to your mail to me 😊”
Chat soon, Mandy

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Riding Weight loss



Real Riding Weight-loss Tricks that Work

You ride because you love it. Not only does riding have immense health benefits for your mind, but it is also a great way to burn calories. A lot of calories. What may baffle you is that if you burn so many calories when you ride and you ride fairly regularly, why does it not seem to make you skinny over time, or worse as the months go by you still gain weight? That’s because there is a catch!

The weight that you lose after a long ride is not only fat weight. All those calories you burn up may also be coming from muscle break-down. Added to the fact that dehydration will make you feel temporarily slimmer and lighter. Don’t be fooled by this. Rather hold your horses before you give yourself permission to indulge in calorie dense food thinking you have earned it.

  • NO SUGARY DRINKS BEFORE YOU RIDE Thinking you can down a sugary drink before you ride is a rookie mistake. If you want your body to be effective at using up quality ‘fuel’ for your ride by tapping into your stored fat cells, don’t load your system with junk before you leave. Forget the energades and other so called ‘sport drinks’ and replace then with nutrient dense vegetable juices such as beetroot and carrot. You get great options at Food Lovers already blended for you.


  • KEEP HYDRATED Did you know that your body needs water to burn fat? So the more dehydrated you get, then more difficult it is for your system to convert your stored fat into fuel. To prevent dehydration you need to drink before you get thirsty. Now while riding mild dehydration can happen very quickly not only though the increased energy demand but also thought sweating, so sipping regularly on a balance electrolyte mix will keep you in fat burning mode.
  • REFUEL INTELLIGENTLY After a ride you need to refuel with clean nutrient dense foods. Don’t think you will lose weight faster if you don’t eat. Instead, you wont recover properly leaving your system weak and your immune system low. Similarly, indulging in fast food thinking you have earned it is as smart as filling your bike with dirty fuel when the tank is empty. At this time more than ever your body needs optimum nutrition to clear out all the ‘debris’ remaining from energy production as well as to start to ‘patch you up’ where your muscles and other organs are worn down. Avoid dairy and breads, rather have complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoe, butternut, spinach with a protein of your choice and some healthy fat such as avocado or olives.

  • WAIT BEFORE YOU DRINK ALCOHOL The biggest mistake I see riders do is have an alcoholic drink straight after a long ride. Alcohol is an ‘anti-nutrient’ and an absolute killer for your body when it is craving healing nutrients. You can expect cramps, if not immediately then later in the day or evening. Not to mention the speed at which consuming alcohol while in a nutrient deficit will pack on the extra fat storage around your tummy. I’m not saying don’t have an alcoholic drink after a ride, but before you do, make sure you have hydrated properly and have enjoyed a recovery meal, never before.

    At Base Fit we are committed to keeping you informed so you can make the right choices for sustainable health and fitness. I trust you found these points helpful.
    Mandy Thomas, Base Fit.
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Bounce back from Long term Stress




Your world as you know it has been turned upside down. A side effect is that your health and fitness has probably taken a knock!  Although not your fault, this lack of wellness is now contributing to your stress and leaving you feeling drained, frustrated, run down and possibly a bit depressed.


When you are in a state of long-term stress, as you have been with this lock-down, you have been operating in survival mode, which means none of your energy resources have been going towards repair and vitality.  This leaves you open to getting sick or feeling depleted, as your system has no longer been dealing with the short-term stress such as healing, warding off bugs and keeping your immune system strong as it usually does on autopilot. 

Being aware of this is the start of positive change.  Below are my 3 steps to help you begin the process of bouncing back after this lock-down experience.

Step 1: Challenges that you experience are actually ‘neutral props’!  It is your choice whether you infuse them with positive or negative.  So the first thing you need to is ask the question “How can this work for me?”.  No matter if it is a weight problem, fitness, health or mindset issue… there is always a lesson which is there to move you in the direction you actually want to go.

Allow your mind to get creative for a while of how you would prefer things and then let the outcome go for now.  Carry on with your day maintaining your vision of how you would like things to turn out.  This is the first step to creating a positive shift as it all starts with the mind.

Step 2: Understand there is a timeline for things to play out.  Maintaining the vision you created in step 1 is important as that is the direction you are going, despite the time it may take.  Think of it a steering a ship.  You may not see the shift initially but if you stay on course, you will eventually get there.  The problem comes in when you get thrown off by the seemly endless sea of water so keep looking back.  Looking back will keep you in a holding pattern of ‘sameness’. Always hold your focus forward, as that is where you are going.

Step 3: Be selfish in this process.  Now to be clear I do to mean this in a greedy or spiteful manner, I mean that it is important that you look after YOU first. If your cup is not full you are no good to others anyway. Unfortunately, you have been brought up in a world where you were taught that being selfish is bad and that you should always put others needs before your own.  I’m saying it is 100% perfect to look after others but NOT to the detriment or sacrifice of your own needs. Understanding the difference will have a huge impact on your progress and headspace.  

In closing, think of your world as a University, which means you are here to learn.  So use every situation as ‘feedback’ and work with it in gratitude, not resistance.  As long as you are making progress daily, no matter how small, you are winning.

So now it’s time to take the next step.  Send me a mail to with the heading DESTRESS and in the body let me know were you are battling and what your goals are.


Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Why your bike is causing you back pain



Why your bike is causing you back pain

You are on the most amazing ride with your friends then that dull back ache starts to kick in. What’s worse, is after the ride your back goes into spasms causing you to hobble around like a cripple for a few days. The thing that is meant to give you pleasure is causing you pain.
So the problem is not the bike, nor is it you. It is your preparation for the ride that needs fine tuning. The very nature of riding has its roots in endurance, which means you need to prepare your muscles to sustain endurance-based activities. As your core is what takes the most pounding when you ride, it is important to do your physical prep work off the bike so you can endure long rides pain free.

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lengthened. While simultaneously your hip flexors and pectorals (chest muscles) become shortened. Holding this position over a long period of time, repeated over and over again can cause an imbalance between your posterior chain and anterior chain. This means your body becomes rounded in a C-shape. This unnatural position puts huge strain on the entire back, lower, middle and upper as your posture is misaligned, similarly to those who sit at in offices for most of the day.
Now, I don’t have to explain the difference between a bike and a chair, but realizing that your back is not supported in a hunched over position so it does not take much for the aggressive movement of a bike to jolt the body into a spasm. This is why your back is so vulnerable when you ride.
Your solution is simple. You need to do exercises which counter act the C-shape caused by the riding position. To open your frame up you must lengthen your chest muscles and stretch out your hip flexors. Then you need to strengthen your upper back muscles and allow them to shorten slightly by avoiding to much stretching. You will also need to strengthen your glutes and lower back.
Below are some exercises which I suggest you incorporate into your weekly fitness regime.
1. Lower back – Supermans * Strengthens lower back (primary) and glutes (secondary) as well as stretches out hip flexors
2. Glutes – Glute bridge walk outs * Strengthens glutes (primary) and lower back (secondary) as well as stretches out hip flexors
3. Upper back – Overhead squats* Tightens upper and middle posterior chain while stretching out chest
4. Upper back – Rear delt kickbacks* Tightens upper and middle posterior chain while stretching out chest
As with any sport you need to prepare. Just because you are sitting or standing on a bike, does not mean the bike is doing all the work and you can just coast. The bike is just an extension of you so ensure your muscles that support your spine, as well as the muscles which attach to the spine are strong and balanced.
If you need a program to assist you in relieving back pain please mail me on with the heading BACK PAIN

Mandy Thomas – Base Fit

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10 Things you must do to get fit!



10 Things you must do to get fit!

By Mandy Thomas, BASE FIT: Specialized Sports Fitness

Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of getting fit, not sure what to do and how to apply it?
In this article we are going to simplify fitness for riding into 10 simple aspects which will:

  • make up a balanced fitness routine for you to follow,
  • allow you to experience real fitness progress.


Below are the 10 fitness components which will have you operating like a pro when you combine them into yourfitness schedule. So let’s get started:

1: Stamina (The ability of body to use energy)
You feel your lack of stamina when halfway through a workout you start yawning or feel you need to sleep. To
build stamina over time, make sure you include segments of high-rep body weight exercises, for example 50
repetitions push ups, body weight squats and sit ups.

2: Strength (The ability to apply force over time)
The best way to build strength is to lift a weight in a manner or heavy enough where you can only manage
between 8 to 12 repetitions, for example dumbbell shoulder press or deadlifts. This can also be achieved using
your body weight for example with pull ups or decline push ups.

3: Power (The ability to apply force in a short burst of time)
The explosive movements including resistance call on your muscles to react and fire quickly and are a must to
include in your fitness program. You don’t need to do many just about 5 as fast as possible for example clean &
press, snatches, and box jumps are another good one.

4: Speed (The ability to minimise time of a repeated movement)
Shuttle runs work wonders for building speed. Do drills every 30 seconds, on the 30 seconds mark, with a rest
period of only 30 seconds in-between.

5: Agility (The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another)
Improving agility takes time but is critical. Incorporating agility drills as part of your fitness routine will train your
body to be ready for quick direction changes.

6: Balance (The ability to control the placement of your centre of gravity in relation to your support base)
Core strength plays into your balance, so the stronger your core, the easier you will find balance work. Great
exercises are single leg work for example snatches or RDL’s. The better your balance, the more energy you

7: Accuracy (The ability to apply force)
A great tool to help train accuracy is to use balls, ensuring your ball hits the target every time.

8: Coordination (The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement)
It’s important to force your brain to coordinate multiple movement patterns.

9: Cardio (The ability of body to deliver oxygen)
Most people get this one right. It’s simply doing steady state exercise like jogging or cycling where your heart
rate reaches about 60 to 70% of your max and stays there. Here you can do the talk test, which means you
should still be able to chat while exercising.

10: Flexibility (The ability to maximise your range of motion at a given joint)
Working on mobility can be as simple as incorporating a foam roller into your daily routine for a few minutes. If
you really want to see big changes, add in a 5-minute block of full body stretching after each fitness training

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