APRIL 2020



Hi everyone, hope you're all as well as can be! What a strange year it's been so far. Apologies we haven't been in touch lately, we have had many unexpected challenges thrown at us over the last few months, as I'm sure many of you have also. On a positive note our community is still continuing to growing everyday, thank you for being a part of it. New services and store products are live and fully available to access, check out the below links.The user portal has been fully upgraded again, making it even easier and quicker to access content on any device! Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for ESP ongoings and news...

What have we been up to...

Founder & Director, Ryan Blake, recently set up a performance coaching community that helps working professionals enhance movement, energy, physique & wellbeing. It focuses on 3 key pillars of fitness, health and lifestyle in order to improve all aspects of training, competing, working and living. Ryan is a scientist, coach and expert who has worked in the elite sports industry for over 15 years with the worlds best performers. If this sounds like something for you then join for free here!

Running L4 strength and conditioning coach qualifications and youth strength and conditioning coach courses with strength and conditioning education.

Pre-season, in-season and off-season support for SPS rowing, rugby sevens, football, basketball, aquatics, athletics, cricket, tennis & rugby union  

Programming for multiple track and field squads.

Performance enhancement for Barnes Swimming Club elite squad.

Individualised support and training management for our youth, action sport, combat and ultra endurance athletes.

One-to-one rehabilitation phases for clients with challenging injuries!

Special offers...


All stages (A-E) half price thought April 2020

Looking for a structured bodyweight training program? 

Progressive strength exercises with purpose... 

Can be done anywhere with minimal equipment! 




⬇︎ FAT

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Easy to follow step by step routine 

 Demonstration videos to support technique 

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Every week we post an article that includes… 

Coaching thoughts

Healthy recipes

 Functional exercises

Training songs

Check out our most recent ones here!



"Episode #26 | "Chatting micro-progression, transparency & virtuosity with Jerzy Gregorek"

Listen here!

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Every month we add more awesome training tunes to our spotify playlist...

Press play here!



Our top 3 latest picks...  

#1] How does BFR cause a reduction in central nervous system fatigue?

 Overview: Applying blood flow restriction (BFR) to a limb while performing exercise is a popular way of accelerating fatigue during training. It causes task failure in a smaller number of reps, when using the same weight. Interestingly, several investigations have found that central nervous system (CNS) fatigue is greater when performing an exercise task to failure without BFR than when performing the exact same exercise task to failure with BFR. This might be caused by the shorter duration of time to task failure, as longer durations of exercise are associated with greater CNS fatigue.

Key Findings: In untrained males performing sustained isometric contractions with low forces to task failure, the application of blood flow restriction (BFR) markedly enhanced spinal excitability and facilitated slightly smaller reductions in sarcolemmal excitability, but had minimal effects on cortical excitability. The greater increases in spinal excitability with BFR could be related to the behaviour of group III/IV afferent nerves.

Practical Application: Using BFR during sustained contractions with low forces to task failure (such as during light load strength training) likely involves less central nervous system (CNS) fatigue than similar training without BFR. This may allow gains in strength and size to be slightly greater when training with BFR, and may also allow rest periods between sets to be shorter when training with the same number of sets.

#2] Assessing the role of coactivation during changes of direction

 Overview: Change of direction (COD) maneuvers are common in many sports. They involve a deceleration phase, in which muscles produce force eccentrically, and an acceleration phase, in which muscles produce force concentrically. Various factors influence force production in each phase. Coactivation, which is the amount of antagonist muscle activation relative to the level of agonist muscle activation, has a negative effect on force production. Consequently, lower levels of coactivation might be expected to occur in tandem with superior COD performances.

Key Findings: In young soccer athletes, there were moderate associations between some measures of ankle and knee coactivation and change of direction (COD) test times. Most associations were noted in either the deceleration or acceleration phases of the COD maneuvers, rather than in the middle COD phase itself. This suggests that reducing coactivation is beneficial for enhancing force production in the COD and thereby performance.

Practical Application: Increasing the ability to produce force in the deceleration (eccentric) and acceleration (concentric) phases of a COD maneuver can increase COD performance. Various mechanisms contribute to increased force production ability, including coactivation. Reducing coactivation likely requires an improvement in coordination of similar movements. Thus, plyometrics are likely to a very beneficial training method for increasing COD ability.

#3] Effects of proximity to failure on muscle oxygenation

Overview: Many studies have shown that reducing oxygen availability leads to both rapid fatigue and quick increases in muscle activation, while restoring oxygen availability leads to a rapid reversal of this fatigue and quick decreases in muscle activation. Such observations have been made in animals and in humans, and the phenomenon has been described as the “oxygen-conforming response.” Approaching muscular failure is believed to involve increasing levels of muscle activation due to increased motor unit recruitment. However, whether this occurs in line with increasing hypoxia is unclear.

Key Findings: In strength-trained males, training with a closer proximity to failure caused greater losses in bar speed and greater reductions in muscle oxygenation, most likely due to greater accumulated peripheral fatigue. However, the interaction between load and the reductions in muscle oxygenation was less clear, because the exact proximity to failure (reps in reserve) was not equated between conditions.

Practical Application: Muscle oxygen levels are likely to be reasonable indicators of fatigue levels, in much the same way as losses in bar speed and blood lactate levels. Thus, they change in proportion to proximity to failure, as fatigue increases. Yet, these things are not factors that stimulate muscle growth directly. Rather, they simply act as indicators that fatigue has occurred.

(All information referenced from Strength & Conditioning Research)



The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in numerous postponements and cancellations, including the rolling over of football's Euro 2020, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics until 2021.

Key events still on in 2020

(Dates and venues are subject to change)

17 July to 15 August: Cricket - The Hundred

19 July: Formula 1 - British Grand Prix at Silverstone

25-30 August: Athletics - European Championships in Paris

24 September-4 October: Tennis - French Open at Roland Garros in Paris

25-27 September: Golf - Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin

4 October: Athletics - London Marathon

18 October to 15 November: Cricket - Men's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia

31 October: Rugby League - England v Australia first Test at University of Bolton Stadium

7 November: Rugby Union - England v New Zealand at Twickenham

12-15 November: Golf - Masters at Augusta National


Got any questions? Get in touch here!

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