Welcome to the first of our movement series. In these journal posts, we’ll be exploring unique fitness programs and techniques that match our belief that fitness involves a holistic and considered approach to body movement. We’ll share creative and innovative developments that move us beyond basic weights, equipment and tired old routines.
The Zuu training format is based around a set series of dynamic body weight movements mixed together in a high intensity cardio and body conditioning training format. It’s been featured on ESPN, used by the Royal Navy and Airforce and is currently being run through selected affiliates in Australia, Singapore, US and Europe, including Virgin Active and Goodlife gyms.
The Practical Man caught up with founder Nathan Helberg to hear why he thinks Zuu is unlike any other program out there and back his claim that it’s set to “liberate human movement”.
Tell us the story of Zuu. How did it come about?
ZUU emerged from the rivalry between 2 brothers: Myself, with my background in bodybuilding, and my little brother who trained as a gymnast. Our backgrounds meant that in training we could both lift heavy weights, but when it came to movement I was stunned at how vulnerable my joints felt. So I began a quest to maintain my strength, but develop my athleticism and mobility. Thus ZUU was born.
Why is Zuu unique?
Zuu’s uniqueness comes from mixing foundation moves from martial arts and dance with moves that are unique to the animal world. The result is the creation of a low impact, high heart rate workout with no equipment, which means you can do it anywhere.
What would you say are the top 3 standout benefits of Zuu?
Mobility, Low Impact, and High-end conditioning.
Can I replace other cardio training like running with Zuu?
Absolutely! I utilise it regularly as a movement consultant to the Armed Forces & elite sports to assist them to achieve high-end conditioning, full joint mobility & cardio conditioning without the need to run.
Do I need to be at a certain fitness level to start the training?
Absolutely not. We encourage everyone to get involved via our ZUUin2 program. This involves just 2 minutes movement, 3 times a day to help you gain huge benefits, no matter your fitness level.
Can you give us an insight into your personal weekly training regime?
Every morning I go through my mobility drills, such as ZUUin2 which I am committed in getting the world to do. If I’m going on tour to elite sports or armed forces, I ramp up my training sessions to 2-3 hrs a day beforehand. This enables me to hold a very high standard in these elite environments to hopefully inspire others by example.
Where can I do Zuu?
We have lots of registered training affiliates as well as our HQ on the Gold Coast and you can find all the registered trainers on our website.
There is no shortage of health supplements aimed at men, promising us everything from bulging biceps to a more satisfying sex life. But if you pluck every promising pill from the shelf, it doesn’t take long until you’re downing fistfuls of tablets at each meal, and carrying one of those compartmentalised pill organisers – perhaps a little prematurely! So which supplements offer the best bang for their buck? Which should form the backbone of the modern man’s supplement regime?
The truth is that as our bodies change, so too do their needs. With each passing decade, different herbal and nutritional supplements help bolster hormone levels and ward off disease.
During Your Twenties
Let’s face it: the twenties are the golden era when it comes to health. For the most part, your body just does what it’s supposed to without much encouragement. It may surprise you to learn then, that from the age of about twenty, our growth hormone (which faithfully got us through adolescence) starts to drop. Seeing that growth hormone is commonly regarded as the ‘fountain of youth’, it makes sense to support your natural release of it for as long as possible. Velvet bean extract, sometimes called Mucuna pruriens, is the best herb we’ve got for the job.
During your Thirties
It’s kind of cruel that testosterone starts to decline so early in the show, but that’s exactly what happens. From around thirty, keeping your natural production of testosterone up is going to help ward off depression and fatigue, and support a healthy sex drive. Around fifty milligrams of Zinc daily is safe for most guys, with Fish oils and Magnesium making a nice complementary pairing for the purpose.
During Your Forties
By your fortieth birthday, you’ve probably made good ground in your career and have come face-to-face more times than you’d care to with a now familiar foe: stress. Safeguarding yourself from its effects is essential in ensuring good mood and a healthy body in the long run. Schisandra and Withania are my two favourite herbs for the job, with the former having the added benefit of protecting your liver.
It’s often around this age that my naturopathic clients start enquiring about herbs to boost libido. We all want the ‘get up and go’ of our twenties and thirties, and the only herb that can hope to deliver that is Korean ginseng. A daily dose might just be what you need to boost performance not only in the bedroom, but in the office too. It gives a great energy kick, is a cognition enhancer, and studies show that it helps balance blood sugar and insulin activity. This makes it an invaluable addition as men move towards the next decade, when risk of diabetes starts to creep up.
During Your Fifties And Beyond
Along with diabetes, our fifties bring with them an increased risk of heart disease. The combination of the two is called metabolic syndrome, and it’s one of the biggest health threats to us today. It’s also one of the most responsive to natural preventative measures, so put some Globe artichoke and Beta-glucan fibre in to your body to bring ‘bad cholesterol’ down.
Finally, it’s around now that our testosterone does another backflip, and is all too readily converted to a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. It’s this hormone that is responsible for hair loss and increases risk of prostate cancer. Shield yourself with Saw palmetto, which blocks the conversion to DHT and keeps your body running well for a long and healthy life.