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RPN #008: The Fundamental 5 – Exercise Better Than Drugs for Depression – Recipe of the Week

Another week has flown by.

Time flies when you’re having fun! I hope you’ve had a great week and have a fun weekend ahead of you.

I’ve had a another busy week. Starting an online coaching business from scratch by myself means there is always something to do and skills to learn.

But I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

I love learning and I get to help people transform their lives for a living, what could be better?

Spending more of our time doing the things we want is good for our mental health. So if you’re spending more time doing things you don’t enjoy, it’s time to take some time out to figure out how you could change that.

Your future self will thank you for it.

3 Ways to Move, Feel and Perform Better

The Fundamental 5

When it comes to starting strength training it can be tempting walk into the gym and jump straight onto the nearest piece of shiny equipment.

In fact, that’s exactly what most PTs will have you do.

There are a couple of problems with this:

  1. You may not have the required mobility to perform the exercise safely which can result in an injury over the course of a few weeks or months.
  2. You don’t gain control over your body. Machines are very stable meaning that there is very little demand on all the smaller stabiliser muscles in your body.

I think more people would be far better off spending time working getting strong on the fundamental 5 bodyweight exercises before progressing on to anything else.

They also require minimal equipment.

What are the fundamental 5?

  1. Bodyweight Squat: Be able to perform 25 continuous deep squat reps before progressing to more advanced variations.
  2. Push-up: Be able to perform 20 continuous full reps before progressing to more advanced variations.
  3. Chin-up: Be able to perform 10 continuous reps before progressing to more advance variations.
  4. Hanging Knee Raise: Be able to perform 10 continuous reps before progressing to more advanced variations.
  5. Triceps Dips (parallel bars): Be able to perform 10 continuous reps before progressing to more advance variations.

I know people who have been going to the gym for years who still can’t do more than a couple of chin-ups.

What practical use does getting superficially strong on a cable row machine have in the real world?

Want to move, feel and perform better?

Focus on achieving these minimal performance standards on the fundamental 5. I guarantee you’ll feel better than ever.

Exercise 1.5 Times More Effective Than Drugs for Depression & Anxiety

A large new analysis of meta-studies finds that exercise is more beneficial for conditions such as anxiety and depression than standard psychotherapy or medications.

The new study found that essentially all forms of exercise produced significant mental health benefits.

Shorter, high intensity exercise programs produced the greatest effect.

Exercise provided the greatest mental health benefit to people with depression, or who had been diagnosed with HIV and kidney disease, pregnant and postpartum women, and otherwise healthy adults.

Recipe of the Week

Want a quick, healthy, low calorie dinner? Then try this and let me know what you think.

Spicy Prawn Wok

Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 257
Carbs: 10g
Protein: 24g
Fats: 13g

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • Apricot, pitted, raw (100 g)
  • Shrimp or prawn, raw (400 g)
  • Courgette/zucchini, pulp and peel, raw (400 g)
  • Onion, raw 1/2
  • Garlic, fresh 2
  • Ginger, powder at your convenience
  • Cayenne pepper at your convenience
  • Coriander, fresh at your convenience
  • Cumin, seed at your convenience
  • Honey 1 sugar tablespoon (15 g)
  • Soy sauce, prepacked 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
  • Olive oil, extra virgin 3 tablespoon (45 ml)


  1. Place the peeled raw shrimp in a small bowl with the honey, soy sauce, cumin seeds and cayenne pepper. Mix and marinate for about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash, dry and pit the apricots. Cut them into quarters. Wash, dry and dice the courgette. Peel the spring onions and chop them (onions and stems). Peel the garlic and chop it. Grate the ginger.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok, add the spring onions, garlic and ginger and fry for 5-6 minutes without browning.
  4. Place the prawns (without the marinade) in the wok and fry for 5-6 minutes on a high heat until they colour. Remove and set aside.
  5. Add the diced courgette to the wok and cook for 6-8 minutes. Then add the diced apricots and fry for about 5 minutes.
  6. Return the shrimp and marinade to the wok and heat through, stirring gently.

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