Archive for the ‘Rachael Hayes DFAC Pro’ Category

Strong is adaptive…..

    Strong is adaptive

Well to keep you all up to date with my progress, its a tale of two halves.I flipped the tyre, I managed a few metres with the yolk and I did the deadlift for 7 but then my back gave up on me. It’s a long term injury and one I have to work around frequently so once again its adaptation time.

This body is not quite as strong as the mind right now, but that’s OK, let’s see what we can do to use the strength of the mind then.

Bending is not currently an option so what can I do in an upright position…. run Forest run. To date my longest run has been a 10k, due to my bodybuilding running has been a cardio not sport exercise and secondary. Now I’m going to give it a go. The aim – a half marathon, double the distance of a 10k I’m going for it. 13.1 miles of road between me and victory….. That’s further than I drive to work each day.

We did it!

Crossing the finish line brings a smile to everyones face.

Throughout everything I keep my nutrition solid, good food and good supplements which gives me a great platform for any challenge. This includes my Extreme Pro-6 starter every morning and my post work out build n recover, if you haven’t tried Extreme Build + Recover you should. When you need a reason to train this is it I would train just so I could have B+R every day. A good foundation of nutrition enables me to be adaptive when niggling injuries force me to change direction.

With Extreme at my back I have the nutrition to do anything I set my mind to. I have added Extreme Carbs to my supplements to fuel me in my longer runs for this challenge providing me with the energy I need when the going gets tough.

Clean and convenient additive free carbohydrate supplement

Extreme Carbs are 100% natural maltodextrin with NOTHING else added.

Running training is intermingled with my strength training, so two or three runs a week. Mid week one or two 4/5 miles and a longer weekend 9 or 10 miler. I have increased my stretching regime to loosen off the calves and particularly hamstrings which get very tight after running. Interestingly, the training has loosened my back a little and aided my gym workouts so maybe a learning point around variety (they do say it’s the spice of life).

My first ever half marathon will be the Silverstone Adidas Half Marathon, at, yes you guessed it, Silverstone race track. What I have found so far is that the body is more willing than the mind in my training. From the off my mind is arguing with itself about how far I am going , how well I am feeling, telling me that I can stop at any time; an inner battle commences with almost the first footfall – the challenge is to mediate the argument to a successful conclusion.

I am strong, I will do this.

Rachael Hayes, pro bodybuilder and tri-athlete

Rachael Hayes is a DFAC Professional Bodybuilder and tri athlete.

Strong is a state of mind……

Well as I enter my 48th Year I have decided to take on the next challenge and find out if being strong is a state of mind. The tyre flipping bug hit and has been conquered, I am now contemplating entering my first strongman contest.

This is like a leap into the unknown with over 20 years of weight training and diet aimed at bodybuilding. (Don’t fret the bodybuilding hasn’t gone its still the main aim for 2016 but January is time to play.)

The contest is a Novice Strongman but to me it appears anything but novice. 160kg yoke walk, up to 80kg atlas stones, log press for reps, static hold, and deadlift for reps. Now to lots of you this seems lightweight and to lots of you it is the babbling of a madwoman.

To me it is a CHALLENGE. I have not deadlifted for years due to back issue and the downward pressure of the yoke tests that same back injury and my mental resilience. I am not being daft, the lifts are within my limits but the mental challenge is EXTREME and we will soon see how much of it is truly a state of mind! Visualisation of success is the key to achieving that goal of at least one rep on each event.

Sometimes, you need to take on the fear that you have developed and honed and check that it is valid.

We have a team of three ladies from Evolution Gym, Sheffield taking on this challenge and for each it is a first.

I am currently raising my game both mentally and physically in order to prepare. Nutrition is based around Extreme Nutrition products with the main emphasis on my post workout Build and Recover and  my morning and evening Pro-6. Glutamine and vitamin C are my next staples.

Monday to Friday is standard workout time and strength building and Sunday morning is event training. The repetition of each event will assist on the day when preparation and exercise are second nature.

I’ll let you in on a secret – so far I haven’t managed to lift the stone but have managed just to turn or flip it. I will succeed keep with me over the next 6 weeks and we will get there.

Evolution Gym Sheffield owner Rachael Hayes

Rachael will soon know if strong is a state of mind

Tyre Flipping Bug Bites!

Well I have managed to get to a grand old total of 47 years old without the desire to try tyre flipping. I mean a TYRE, you know they are on cars or the ones here at Evolution Gym were probably part of a tractor or digger at some time earlier in their life before ending up in our car park!

Why oh why would I want to try tyre flipping? To see what may be hiding underneath it? To see what is printed on the other side! Or just for the pure hell of it and to see if I could?

For years I have watched the strongmen and women on television and at our gym ( in the car park tyre flipping, walking like a farmer with a big weight in each hand, moving giant marbles (atlas stones) and even pulling cars, vans and lorries across the car park and I’ve even seen them pulling an air-plane on television in the Worlds Strongest Man competition!

I have always been in awe of their physical strength and prowess but not at all inquisitive as to whether I could do it, not until now that is. Body building and strength training/sports are kind of like Formula 1 and Rallying, the same basic principles apply and you need to train using very similar techniques but with different end results and different goals.

One of our fellow Extreme Nutrition athletes is Worlds Strongest Man Finalist, Laurence Shahlaei. He is huge and crazily strong but fit at the same time which belies his size. Loz also holds records in Indoor Rowing too and is one of the fastest men in the world on an indoor rowing machine!

BUT, this is the year the bug has hit me and tyres have began to stare at me seductively…..

rachael hayes natural athlete

dfac pro bodybuilder rachael hayes

Total Warrior or Total Wipeout

Total Warrior – or Total Wipeout?!!?

    Total Warrior was my second foray into obstacle racing took place last weekend with a 12km in Leeds. I was quite excited about it apart from the electrocution and freezing ice dip. For the two weeks prior I had a number of chiropractor visits and lots of back issues but no excuses, I was up for the challenge.

    On the day Jon Clark and I arrived at Braham Park to a well organised car park and registration set up. Soon we were kitted out with headbands, tattoos, timing chips and numbers. The staff were very jolly (it was a little drizzly) and set us all up for a fun event. After writing our numbers on our headbands and putting them on we felt a little Ramboesque and retired to the car to wait for the rest of the team.


    The team was made up of my work colleagues, 7 of us in total we met in nervous anticipation and headed to the start line.


    To get us in the mood we entered the starting area through a small tunnel and were encouraged to get into chanting Total Warrior! Total Warrior! As we agreed on tactics, that is that we go as a team, we were off. Yellow gas canisters were released and it was a little like coughing and spluttering our way through smog.

    A false sense of security was created by the first kilometre being downhill, with all the people, testosterone, excitement and nerves it was a giddy first stretch. The first obstacle was an extremely steep hill which we had to run up and then down three times, this got the blood pumping and the quads burning. It was already apparent that our team had splinter groups, a clique within a clique. I brought up the rear happy to be keeping up with 6 blokes with my dodgy leg (in fact dodgy body!).

    The first proper mud obstacle took its toll on Superman (Jon Clark) as it relieved him of his shoe;
    Tip 1 – do not wear elastic laces in a mud run – great for triathlon transitions rubbish for keeping the shoe on.

    Jon had to delve up to his armpit in mud to retrieve said shoe, it started the giggling off then and I don’t think we stopped until the the end.

    The Fab Four (as we now refer to ourselves) stuck together all the way round, we conquered every obstacle as a team and I absolutely loved it. The other runners were equally as awesome as us. It was great to help someone you didn’t know over a wall or a mud bank to have the favour returned at the next unscalable blockage. At times we walked, at times we nearly cried (well I did) but to complete it was brilliant.


      Highlights and lowlights

    My dreaded ice water was in fact a blessing, when you were hot and tired a slowdown and cool off was welcome. The only downside was the colour and consistency of the water none of the crystal clear iced water I was imaging in but more a gloopy soup of very cold, very dirty slush. The dunk under was accompanied by a tightly held nose and firmly closed lips to stop any of the manky liquid being taken on board.




    I loved all the mud, wading through it, crawling on it, under barbed wire, over mud moguls it was the most fun. At all mud obstacles you heard screams, expletives, laughter and most of all a bunch of humans enjoying mud together. I haven’t done that since I was a kid and you know what? It brilliant fun.

    The walls and A frames were great, a mixture of brute force and ignorance meets Krypton factor!! As a foursome we were monumental in our teamwork and ingenuity, the overhang – no problem, the shocker – child’s play, the tunnels – a doddle.

    On the other hand, running up the last hill to the monkey bars I almost lost the will to live. I was so tired and yet wanted so much not to hold up the guys.


    My lowlight, but probably the most fun, was the monkey bars, the ladder felt never ending and as I neared the last two rungs my fingers would not close around it, my grip was going but I was soooooo close. Everyone was shouting encouragement – I could not fail – oooops spoke too soon! As I stared at my hand willing it to hold on I watched as, in slow motion, my fingers opened one by one and I dropped like the proverbial brick into another puddle of mud suspension ( you couldn’t call it water!). This time I was not so lucky with avoiding I taking in the liquid and it seemed like I was under for ages. As I dragged myself out of the pool we had one more obstacle to the end, a ramp like construction with a rope half way up – I stormed it, if I do say so myself. At the top when the Marshall said you’ve done it I could have kissed him.


    The end was rewarded with a beer, a bandana and a protein bar! The beer is still on he shelf if anyone wants it but I ate the bar and proudly sported the bandana. The obligatory event T-shirt is one I will wear often to remind me of the fun.

    Tip 2 – never give up being a kid, enjoy the moment and do an obstacle race at least once with someone, anyone they don’t need to be close friends but you will rekindle that infectious laughter and happiness that comes with play.


    Total Warrior – or Total Wipeout? We think it was a total success and are now looking forward to next year!

    Rachael Hayes DFAC Pro Bodybuilder

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