SAQ drills and training styles

I spent last week with Nick Grantham and Duncan French, 2 of the UK’s top S&C coaches on a 3 day internship.

Not only did it open my eyes to coaching and programme design, but to how ineffective some people workout, and how, with just 10mins you can get a full body, furnace blasting session in!!

For the first time, I was introduced to proper, SAQ drills. Man this stuff is intense!

It works on not only co-ordination (needs to be improved), balance (as per #1), and speed work (and some!)

Short strides, minimal ground contact, low centre of gravity, it’s all common sense, but when put into a routine, you can see the effectiveness of structured drills, in just rounds of 20-30secs.

You’re muscles get a great workout, as does your cardiovascular system, and the DOM’s that are associated with 2-3 10mins rounds are a newbie!

Change your standard routine.

Workout intensely, but with controlled speed and watch the difference! I’m certainly going to be including this stuff in my sessions!

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Ebooks for Fat Loss, Fitness and Health!

I’ve just published 2 new ebooks that WILL get you results!
Both books are over 65 pages in content, so you can rest assured I’ve put time and effort into both!

The first, is a BodyFit “Home” Bootcamp ebook. It contains 11 workouts you can do at home, in the park or the gym, with zero equipment required. There is a nutrition plan that will help you drop a clothes size in 21 days, supplement info, and a 2 week food plan to follow!
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The second, will work equally well alongside the above, or by itself – Over 50 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. It also includes a 4 week, day by day food plan to ensure health, better energy and fat loss. At just £15 this is a steal.
Click here to view more or purchase!

Gyms need to do more!

I was in our local gym for a workout yesterday, and saw something I often see – people working out incorrectly, with bad form, and no gym instructor around to correct or help.

Surely it is the gyms responsibility to continue with their clients safety, education and progression once they have had their induction, and taken their money?!

These particular guys were deadlifting, with a narrow stance and rounded backs. I offered my advice on correcting it, which they gladly took, and asked further questions. I don’t mind helping, especially if it’s going to keep them safe, but this should be the job of the instructor, who sits behind their desk, playing on the computer.

They also advertise PT within the gym but there is no active searching or floor walking going on. These guys would be perfect for a few PT sessions. Correct their form, offer advice, then offer some PT sessions to get them working correctly and more safely -simple…..but it doesn’t happen.

Thankfully there are some good Personal Trainers around who offer advice, train clients effectively and safely, but this should surely be the norm for gyms as well? No wonder many people leave their gym membership within a few months when there is no continued support, motivation or interest shown?

10 Top Tips to lower your BMI!

Following my discussion with BBC Radio breakfast presenter Nick Wallis this morning, I’ve continued the theme by listing below 10 tips to reduce or get your BMI down!

  1. Ensure you eat breakfast, and that it is nutritionally balanced. Your body needs to kickstart it’s metabolism in the morning after a night’s sleep. What you eat will determine your energy levels for the next few hours, and also how your body will function. Miss breakfast and you will be sluggish, and will set your body further into fat storing mode. Eat a high sugar breakfast like a pastry, or sugar added cereal (honey nut, coco- xxx, frosties etc) and you will get a massive blood sugar spike, resulting in the release of insulin, which can be a fat storage hormone. You will also feel hungry sooner , and energy levels will crash. Aim for porridge, low sugar museli, fruit with mixed nuts and live bio yoghurt, eggs, grilled bacon, tomatoes.
  2. Water! Our bodies are made from over 65% water, and it has many jobs, including the delivery of nutrients around the body, but also the removal of toxins and fat cells. Being dehydrated can often lead to over-eating, fatigue, and headaches. Keep a bottle with you throughout the day and refill each morning. Aim to drink at least 1 ½ litres a day.
  3. Leave out carbohydrates from mid afternoon. Carbs aren’t bad, it’s just that we tend to eat too many! Their primary job is to be broken down into glucose, stored, and used for energy. But if you aren’t expending energy, possibly through a sedentary job, these carbs have to go somewhere, and so get stored as fat. By carbs I’m talking pasta, bread, potatoes etc.
  4. Aim to leave no more than 4 hours between eating. This can take the form of a snack like an apple and a 3-4 nuts, chopped raw veg, or some oat cakes. By leaving longer, your body will go into starvation mode, releasing hormones which will store the next food consumed as fat. Prepare your snacks the night before so that they are ready, and planned. NOT sugary snacks.
  5. Try not to eat after 8pm at night. Your metabolism slows down during the afternoon to evening time and so it will take longer to break down food from here. Evening meals should consist of protein and vegetables. Definitely stay away from potatoes, breads and pastas at this time. Where possible, have your larger meal at lunch time which will assist this process. If you feel ‘snackish’ in the evening aim to eat some chopped carrot or celery which is low in calories, high in fibre and will make you feel fuller. Also drink more water!
  6. Cut out added sugar! Everything that ends in an xxxxOSE is sugar! This is cakes, biscuits, sweets, in hot drinks or cereals. It is refined and causes high levels of insulin to be released, as described in point 1. The whole key to fat loss is keeping a high metabolism and  balanced blood sugar levels. Sugar will not help!
  7. Aim to limit/swap/cut out cow’s milk and cheese. Many people, without knowing it are lactose intolerant. In our stomach we have masses of different enzymes which assist in breaking down the various food groups. The sugar in cows milk is lactose, and the enzyme responsible for breaking this down is called lactase. Some people produce less of this enzyme and so therefore the lactose is not broken down properly, and turns into a toxin, which in turn causes bloat or stomach cramps. Switch to soya or goats milk which is easier on the stomach. I have, and can vouch that it has given me more energy, and easier going on the stomach.
  8. Cut back on wheat based products. This includes bread, cakes, pies, pasta. The gluten contained within these products again causes toxic issues in the body, resulting in bloat, and stomach issues similar to lactose intolerant people. When you do have these foods, aim to have wholemeal versions which are better nutritionally and not bleached or devoid of nutrients like their white versions. Try to limit to 2-3 times a week.
  9. Cut out the packaged/processed and take away food. This stuff is often high in calories, and specifically the packaged meals, are pretty empty on vitamins and minerals. Food needs to be natural and fresh to contain vitamins and minerals. If stuff has been pasteurised, processed etc, it has been altered. Be it for storage or looking after that best before date, it isn’t fresh!
  10. Eat for your day! Food is our energy source –  If you have a sedentary job, or day ahead, look to reduce the number of calories you consume. Food, in particular carbohydrates, are your main source of energy, and if you are not expending the calories, they will be stored as fat! So if you will be taking the train or car to work, then sitting at a desk most of the day, eat small, graze, every 3-4 hours, and don’t digest large, calorific meals. Your body will not burn these calories, and you will gain weight! If this is the case, really look to cut back on carbohydrates from lunchtime, and consume protein and vegetables (raw carrots, cucumber etc at work) for the rest of the day. TRUST ME – if you don’t burn the calories, your WILL gain weight!

Combine the above points with some regular exercise and you will be feeling and seeing the benefits. A qualified Personal Trainer or outdoor exercise sessions like BodyFit Bootcamps will ensure you are doing the right exercises, with the right intensity, coupled with qualified nutrition advice. This will ensure that the 2 main areas for continued fat loss and health are covered.

Surrey Bootcamp and fitness results in any weather!

 

This last week we have had some terrible weather in the UK, with strong winds and heavy rain.

However, I still had 35 dedicated people turn up to my 2 bootcamps in the pouring rain!

I said to them at the end, that they should be proud of themselves for turning out in such weather and putting in the effort that they did.  I also stated that there were probably hundreds of people throughout the country who didn’t even make it to their “warm and cosy gym” because it was “warmer and more comfy” to stay at home.

It’s this sort of commitment that gets people results. Fat Loss and Fitness does not only occur when the sun is shining, or at certain times of the day.

Training in a group environment certainly helps with motivation levels and commitment, as you see other people around you putting in maximum effort, and everyone is “in the same boat”.

Get yourself some training goals, a training partner, or even a bootcamp and remember that results come to those that want them, they won’t come to you!

Prepare now for Christmas!!

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Christmas is now just 8 weeks away – can you believe it?!!

With the average person gaining between 5-8lbs over the xmas period, now is the time, to start tightening the calories and getting the hard work in.

Not only to get yourself in good shape before the Christmas “overload” but chances are you have a Christmas party coming up and the chance to show yourself off!

Therefore, commit the next 6-8 weeks to hard work, (aim for 4-5 workouts a week, and not just cardio workouts!) minimise alcohol, certainly during the week remove it, and cut back on processed foods like takeaways and packaged food. Look after your body and the results will be visible to both yourself and others – surely everyone want to look good and get great comments?!

Keep your eyes on my youtube account, by clicking here, for some great workout ideas that will keep the calories burning all day long, and sculpting a great body! Feel free to click the subscribe button to my YouTube account, as I’ll be adding more workouts/videos over the next few weeks!

ACT NOW – Christmas will come fast!

10 Exercise and Nutrition Myths

10 common Nutrition and Exercise Myths!

10. Women will get bulky from lifting weights

Women cannot get big and bulky for one very good reason…their bodies don’t produce enough testosterone to build the large bulky muscles. Testosterone is a key ingredient to putting on muscle mass, and the only way women can get this type of big bulky look is by taking steroids and hormone injections. This is why you see bulky female body builders. I know from personal experience how hard it is to put on muscle, and that is lifting heavy, regularly, consuming lots of protein and calories and being committed! Your 2 sessions a week with weights won’t get you big! So don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights if you’re a woman. Lifting heavy will make a woman strong, not manly. It will give you shape, and you more defined.

9. Carbohydrates make you fat Rubbish.

Excess calories make you fat. Gaining weight is basically consuming more calories than you are expending. This could be protein, fat, or carbohydrates. Carbs are needed as an energy supply, not just for your muscles, but your brain and bodily tissues. The main problem lies in that we eat too many carbohydrates. Nowadays, most processed/packaged food is high in carbohydrates, and often high in sugar. Once your muscles and liver is full (the main storage area for carbs) there is no where else for them to go, so the excess will be broken down and stored as fat. Look to limit your carbohydrates on non-exercise days, to natural ones (fruit, vegetables, small portions of rice) and you and you’re body will benefit from them. Aim to consume more protein and good fats and you will be on the right track.

8. 2 sets of 15 is all you need for each exercise

This often happens with a gym induction. You are put on all the gym machines, and are told to do 2 sets of 15, often with a weight you could perform 25 or more with. Yes, if you’re new to resistance work, work around the 15 rep range, but ensure reps 14 and 15 are getting challenging. After around 4-6 weeks, look to increase the weight so that you are performing around the 12 rep range. Once you have completed about 8 weeks, look to change the whole workout and add new movements.

7. If I exercise, I will get where I want to be without changing my diet.

If you think this, you’re heading down the wrong path! How would you expect to lose weight, put on muscle, get healthier if you’re still eating the same rubbish that helped you gain the weight in the first place?! The idea of exercise and balanced nutrition, is to get you and your body healthier, leaner, and in better condition. What you put into your body will determine this. Take this example – Look at builders and brick layers etc. Now, doing such a physical job day in, day out, all that lifting, they should have bodies of a greek Adonis? But what do they eat? Fry ups, pasties, crisps, all manufactured foods, and therefore they end up having a belly, high blood pressure, and probably a poor immune system. Let me make this clear, you will only get health and fitness results if you pay attention to your diet. I would go as far to say that weight loss, muscle gain etc is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Yep, now you see the need for quality food?

6. Machines are safer than free weights

Again, gym inductions are often to blame. These machines are a waste of time. Firstly, they move in a specific range of motion, meaning you will work the same muscles in the same line every time. Secondly you are sitting down, so muscles from your core down are switched off. This not only means you are limiting your work capacity, but you are burning hardly any calories. Surely it is better to work for less time and be more productive? Ask for dumbbell and free weight exercises, and you will soon be sculpting a good looking body!

5. Running, or cardio is the way to lose fat.

No. Cardio exercise should be just one part of your workout routine. When adding cardiovascular exercise, you should look to perform intervals, whereby you work at and easy pace for a period of time, then put up the resistance or speed, and work hard for a shorter period of time. You often will have two to three times more rest period than work. The idea of interval training is you can train for less time, but burn more calories, as it ramps up your metabolism, puts a greater workload on your body, and will get you ‘fitter’ quicker than steady state cardio. Too many people stick to the cardio machines, spending hours during the week on them. Yes you will burn calories, but you’ll also burn muscle because of the long, slow intensity. This in turn robs you of body shape, and will slow your metabolism. In the business this is known as “skinny fat” – you may be slim but you’ll have a high body fat % as you have minimal muscle.

4. Targeting specific muscle groups is the best way to lift.

How many times have you heard “Today I’m doing arms” or “Monday is chest and back!”? How you plan a resistance training program depends on several factors, but the above is pretty much setout for bodybuilders and can workout for long periods (often through enhancements), have a long training background, and consume a good number of calories. This kind of training is not functional. It will not help to give you a generally strong body that will help in everyday tasks. You will see guys at the gym who follow this type of programme, with hunched over shoulders where their chest muscles are over tight from too much bench pressing, and other such muscle imbalances, which in time, will give postural problems. You should look to perform exercises which use multiple muscles and combine the 5 body movements – Walk or lunge, squat or bend, push, pull, rotate.

3. You need supplements to get in shape

Supplements should be used only for what they’re name implies: to “supplement” an already nutritious diet. Pills, powders, potions, will not give the results often portrayed by magazines and adverts, it will just burn a whole in your pocket. What supplements do I consider worth using? A good multi-vitamin and an omega-3 supplement is about it. A protein powder is about the only other if you are working out strenuously, to help build or maintain lean muscle. Natural wholesome food is what your body is designed to consume, and that is what will give you the best results – guaranteed.

2. Cutting calories down will help me lose weight

When you dramatically reduce calories, your bodies metabolism slows down. This is the engine to your body. Also, if you go too long without consuming a decent amount of calories, your body will start to release fat storing hormones called Lipoprotein lipases. These will float around your blood system, and next time you eat, they will grab the nutrients and store them as fat – your bodies last possible source of energy, as it thinks you are in starvation. Eat little and often, every 3 hours and you’ll keep your metabolism high. If you are going to cut calories in an attempt to lose weight, start by just 300 calories a day, possibly moving to 500 if you see no results are a week.

1. Crunches will get rid of your belly fat

One of the most over rated exercises for sure! In a very broad sense, getting rid of fat is a simple factor of expending more calories that you take in. And doing a crunch, which moves the body through a minuscule range of motion, is not going to expend many calories. Plus you’re not going to see any benefit from them if you have a layer of fat over the top. Eat Clean, lift weights, perform intervals and you’ll start to get where you want to be!