Small cafes should publish calorie content of their food

According to todays telly, there are moves a foot to make small cafes and  food bars publish  (or display) the  calorie value of the food they serve.

To my surprise , the story wasn’t “about time” it was”poor small traders who will go bankrupt because they  have to workout the calorie value of the food they serve”

The poor dears.

I’d suggest that if you have a decent menu range , think old fashioned greasy spoon cafe, it could take,  maybe 2 hours to knock up this info. The reality is, if you don’t know the calorie value of the food you serve, maybe, you shouldn’t be dishing it up.

There are hundreds of easy to use calorie calculating resources.

We know we have an obesity crisis. We need to start dealing with it.


Get to 12, drop down to 8, and build up

This is a handy ” how to increase the weight you should use” tip. Its the biggest draw back of exercise regimes that they forget to increase the stress of the exercise. Once you are used to it, the exercise is no longer an exercise, its just an activity.

The body needs to be challenged so you often need to vary exercise type, angles, type of kit used, but also, often, the weight used.

One of the easiest way to increase  he effectiveness is to increase the weight used. thats ok, but when do you ” up the weight”.

If I’m building some muscle mass  for my clients, I suggest this:

Find the weight you can do 12 reps with. Once you hit 12 reps, up the weight. Aim to find a weight you can get to 8 reps with. Over the next few sessions, build up to 12 reps again (using the same weight) then,  once you hit 12 reps,   up the weight. Expect to get to 8 reps again., build to 12 reps, and so on.

To be clear I have clients starting out with a bicep curl: we find what they can do 12 with  say 6kg. So we now increase to 7kg, If they can do 12 reps, we up it again, but maybe, for example , going to 8kg becomes hard. Maybe they can only do 8kg for 8 reps . Great.The task is now to increase the reps from 8 to 12. once they hit 12 reps, up the weight again again?


Hope that helps


My name is Andrew Stemler and Im a City and East London Personal trainer. Email me at at

who are the perpetrators?

to be effective at self-defence, you need to know who is most likely to attack you: once again and extract  from March 2016, the Crime Survey for England and Wales

Perpetrators were most likely to be male, being reported to be the perpetrator in three-quarters of violent incidents (76%). Perpetrators were also most likely to be aged between 25 and 39, with the perpetrator believed to belong to this age group in 42% of violent incidents.

In 74% of violent incidents, a sole perpetrator was reported to have been responsible. For incidents with more than one perpetrator, victims most commonly reported that 4 or more perpetrators (11% of incidents) or 2 perpetrators (10% of incidents) were involved.

The number of perpetrators involved varied by the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. Only 1% of domestic violence incidents involved more than one perpetrator, compared with 24% of incidents of acquaintance violence and 43% of incidents of stranger violence. Incidents involving 4 or more perpetrators accounted for 14% of acquaintance violence and 15% of stranger violence, but no incidents of domestic violence.

Victims believed the perpetrator(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in 40% (491,000) of violent incidents1. In 19% (237,000) of violent incidents, the victim believed the perpetrator(s) to be under the influence of drugs

Victims aged 10 to 15 were able to say something about the perpetrator in 94% of violent incidents in the year ending March 2016 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). Incidents of violence against children were most likely to be committed by someone known well to the victim (52% of incidents), with a small proportion of incidents being committed by strangers (12%). The perpetrator was a pupil at the victim’s school in 68% of violent incidents, and was a friend (including boyfriend or girlfriend) in 11% of incidents. The perpetrator was most likely to be male (81% of incidents) and aged between 10 and 15 (78%)

Are you a victim?

Sure statistics often lie, but I thought this was an  interesting reflection for those thinking about self-defence assessments

The main characteristics of a victim were:

  • Men were more likely to be a victim of violent crime measured by the face-to-face Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) interview than women (2.2% of males compared with 1.4% of females1 with stranger violence showing the largest difference in victimisation between men and women (1.2% compared with 0.4%).
  • Adults aged 16 to 24 were more likely to be a victim of violent crime (3.7%), particularly acquaintance or stranger violence (1.8%) than any other age group
  • Those who were widowed (0.5%) or were married or civil partnered (1.1%) were less likely to be a victim of violent crime than adults with any other marital status.
  • Adults living in the 20% most deprived output areas were more likely to be a victim of violent crime (2.5%) than those living in other output areas (1.7%) – particularly those living in the 20% least deprived output areas (1.2%).
  • Renters (2.8% social and 2.4% private) were more likely to be a victim of violent crime than home owners (1.3%)
  • Source: March 2016 Crime Survey for England and Wales

preparing to develop your self defence skills?

Well, that’s great, but who do you think is going to attack you, because it does, sort of, affect the defensive strategies you use

Have a read of this

“in the year ending March 2016 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), 43% (544,000 offences) of violent offences were perpetrated by an acquaintance1, 37% (467,000 offences) by a stranger2, and the remaining 20% (254,000 offences) were categorised as domestic violence perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner, or a family member (Figure 1.4). These figures have fluctuated over recent years, with acquaintance violence accounting for the largest proportion of offences in some years and stranger violence accounting for the largest proportion of offences in others ”

(Crime Survey for England and Wales).


I don’t like getting kicked in the bollocks, but there are worse things

Some of you know I teach self-defence: A very violent, nasty,  aggressive, swear word laced, punch fucking hard, self-defence. Preceded of course by not being, or acting like a victim,  with loads of awareness training chucked in.

I’m often told that a kick or knee in the balls is all you need to stop a fight. I need to feedback that in my sparring, door work and bodyguard assignments, I’ve been kicked in the groin several times.

This move didn’t put me down or stop me.

Equally, I’ve never stopped anyone with a kick in the balls. Tactically, I think some people expect it.

I have successfully knocked people out by whacking them on the jaw. It’s like a “night, nighty go to sleep button”.

My conclusion is that I’m not a great fan of ball kicking as a self-defence strategy.

Milk: all trainers should have a position!

It seems that for some, milk is the spunk of the devil.

For me, as an old trainer ( 58) milk is what Margaret Thatcher took away from us primary children ( and with it, my early role as class milk monitor)

But, all my life I’ve been told that milk is good for you.  Its a core component of nutrition. But it’s so often attacked, I thought I’d do this research.

I looked up

Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientific evidence.

See abstract here

It basically concluded that “The totality of available scientific evidence supports that intake of milk and dairy products contribute to meet nutrient recommendations and may protect against the most prevalent chronic diseases, whereas very few adverse effects have been reported”

Obviously, if you are allergic to milk, or don’t like it,  don’t have it. But don’t bitch about it, or make shit up about it. Sure some cows are pumped full of hormones.

but, according to nutrition

  • “A food safety review demonstrated that recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) is not biologically active in humans. Furthermore, the concentration of the hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) found in hormone-treated cow’s milk is no more than that of breast milk (10).
  • Levels of IGF-1 in the human digestive tract are many hundreds of times larger than the concentrations found in hormone-treated milk. Additionally, oral consumption of IGF-1 appears to have no biological activity (11).

In other words, even if people do get traces of hormones through consuming milk, it will likely have no effect.”

However, the protein is complete, its full of vitamins and minerals has fat and carb, so an all-round great snack.

So, it’s still a free society. If you don’t like it, go and drink something else.