Tracking Workouts

Data plays a huge part in the success of all businesses, organisations and even our homes…However we often forget to utilise the wealth of data available surrounding our health & fitness…

Tracking your workouts is an easy way to maximise your performance and outcomes…

A simple but effective tracking system will:

  • make you more accountable to yourself
  • increase your chances of success
  • identify patterns & routines whether good or bad
  • highlight personal bests & progression
  • highlight areas for improvement
  • help you build a healthy routine
  • aid reflection and adaption in line with outcomes ie. if it’s not working you have a better chance of seeing why
  • reduce risk of injury
  • allow a structured progression = ongoing results
  • keep training varied & interesting
  • aid a trainer or coach in supporting you

How To Track Workouts
There are many ways to keep a records, they don’t have to be complicated.

We keep a record of every session we do with our clients including:
– date, time & session focus
– exercises
– weight, sets & reps
– timing
– notes on form & teaching focus

This is exactly the same information we collect for our own workouts which we then cross reference to quarterly body composition measurements.

Available Tools:
– how many minutes/week you exercise
– Smart Phone
– Fitness Apps
– Wearable Tech (fitbit etc)
– Some gyms have personalised trackers linked to CV equipment
– Pen & Paper, Diary etc

Using the Data (Example):
I’m in the gym today and:

  • It’s 28/07/19 @ 2.30pm
  • I’m training legs & shoulders
  • I’m using ascending pyramids
  • My warm up was Treadmill for 10 minutes
  • Then I write my exercises, sets weights & reps eg. Squats 100kg x 5reps, 100kg x 5reps, 100kg x 4reps etc
  • I then write down my cool down and any notes eg. my left hip felt weak

Every 6-12 weeks I then take my body composition measurements before setting my new structure for the next 3 months…If my chest grew more than my arms eg I may then steer my next 3 months to focus a little more on my arms

This approach can be applied to all of your fitness attributes and doesn’t have to be exactly the same as we’ve done it…you may choose just to focus on ensuring you spend 150 mins/week training or burn a certain number of calories through exercise each week.

We hope that you find this helpful

Go Get It!!!

Strength vs Size

Often resistance or weight training is universally referred to as ‘strength training’, even by personal trainers. This is worrying as in the majority of cases the style of resistance they’re relating to is far from ‘Strength Training’…

It’s important to understand the difference.

Resistance Training
This is simply the process of applying resistance to a given movement therefore forcing the muscles to work harder, resulting in micro tears and inflammation. In time, given adequate nutrition & rest, this can result in larger and/or stronger muscles. The way in which this is done though will have a huge influence on the outcome.

Strength Training
Technically known as ‘Myofibrillar Hypertrophy, this is the neuromuscular process of increasing a muscles force production. This is done by lifting heavy weights in an explosive manor for short periods of time. In our world we often refer to this as ‘high weight, low rep’. This style of training relies on explosive contractions and adaptations within the muscles actin and myosin fibres which produce the contractions.

Size Training
Technically known as Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy this uses metabolic overload and the accumulation of blood and sarcoplasmic fluid within a muscle to produce micro tears to the lining , the result is an increase in size & glycogen (sugar) storage but not necessarily strength. These adaptions are achieved by working the muscle under tension for longer, with a lower weight in a controlled manor. Typically this will be achieved via sets of 10+reps lasting at least 45 seconds where the individual adds voluntary muscular contraction to increase blood flow to the working muscle. We often refer to this as ‘low weight, high rep’, training for ‘pump’ or ‘metabolic overload’.

Which One Is Best
Traditionally it was believed that Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy cannot occur without Myofibrillar as the process of lifting any weights should make you stronger right?! However new research is showing that this may be untrue and that focusing on one may result in a reduction in the other.

Sarcoplasmic Pro’s & Con’s
– quick increase in visible size
– pump feels great
– no real increase in strength
– not functional adaption – fairly useless to an athlete

Myofibrillar Pro’s & Con’s
– Functional adaption – stronger
– Great for sport
– Also makes muscles bigger
– High demand on the nervous system

We recommend using a periodised training programme that would have you working solely within each field for 6-12 weeks before transitioning to a pyramid system that utilises both for 6-12 weeks.

We will release individual articles on all 3 of these offering example training plans & rep ranges.

Regardless of which phase you’re in your results will remain dependant on applying sufficient overload to your muscles paired with adequate rest & nutrition.

Happy Health,
Tom’s

I Don’t have Time!

Time is something that we all share equally but how we use it is very different….

TIME..is undoubtedly the #1 reason we hear for people not looking after themselves, what makes us good at our job though is that we refuse to accept this EXCUSE…

Effective time management is a powerful tool and today we’re sharing some time efficient tips to help maximise your health & fitness…

Starting Point
Where is your time going?

Completing a time diary/audit may surprise you, Eg. how many minutes/day are you on Social Media or watching TV?

  • Turn off social media notifications
  • if you sleep 8 hours/night this leaves you 16 hours/day
  • an hour workout is 4% of your day, 3 workouts/week is plenty
  • the UK government recommend 300 minutes exercise/week, this can be done in as little as 10 minutes chunks when heart rate >60% max
  • Plan your week & time ahead, factor in time for food prep & workouts
  • cook in bulk and freeze for busy days
  • exercise in your lunch break
  • prepare your gym kit for lunchtime or a workout on your way home
  • active commuting: walk to work or park half way and walk the rest
  • Set daily and/or weekly goals
  • Be flexible & willing to adapt/change your plans
  • have a back up plan
  • take the stairs – always!
  • Set golden rules – eg. I MUST workout 3x/week, I will only have 2 takeaways/month
  • Find sources of inspiration: quotes, videos or idols
  • Choose a mantra eg. I’ll feel better if I exercise & eat well

We could continue for a while, but that wouldn’t be time efficient 😉

We’ll leave you by referring to our previous article that looks at setting your priorities, the key point being that your output in life is only increased by prioritising the foundation of everything you do, this being your health.
CLICK HERE

Happy Health,
Tom

Metabolic Overload Training

Metabolic Overload or Metabolic Stress training is 1 of 3 key ways in which you can train to gain (muscles)…

What Is It?

Essentially Metabolic Stress training is the process of training for ‘the burn’ & ‘muscle pump’ which relies on the constant pumping of blood into the working muscle, the blood fills the muscle resulting in micro tears of the muscle fibres and the accumulation of metabolites which are thought to then trigger anabolic signaling (trigger to grow).

How Do I Do It?

Metabolic stress training relies on the muscle remaining under tension throughout the entire set, the following points summarise this technique:

  • 10-20 reps/exercise
  • 3-4 sets/exercise
  • No rest at the top or bottom of the lift
  • avoid locking out at the top of lifts
  • constant tempo eg. 2020
  • <60 seconds rest between sets
  • rep to momentary failure

Applying It To Your Routine:

As we’ve said before all professional lifters and athletes alike will us a system of Periodization when planning their training, once again we recommend using a structure plan that periodically transitions through each of the 3 Hypertropthy systems offering well rounded and progressive results.

We hope that you find this information useful.

Happy Health,
Tom’s

Anterior & Posterior Chains

Chains are definitely lesser discussed than other anatomical functions.
Understanding your Anterior & Posterior chains though will undoubtedly help your fitness, progression & performance whilst reducing your risk of injury and skeletal imbalance.

What are they?

The Anterior Chain:
This refers to the muscles on the front side of the body including:
– Pecs
– Quads
– Core
The anterior chain plays a vital role in controlling forward movement, an essential in nearly all sports especially where direction changes are needed. Further to this your core muscles provide the foundation of all movement and power, an undeveloped or weak core will prevent you from training/progressing beyond a certain point as well as increasing the risk of falls.

The Posterior Chain:
This comprises of the muscles on the rear of the body, including:
– Hamstrings
– Glutes
– Lats
– Traps
– Rotator Cuff & Scapula Retractors
The Posterior Chain is responsible for holding us upright, without it we would flop forwards. Additionally they allow us to generate backwards force such as rowing and pulling.

How Can I Train My Chains:

Anterior Chain Exercises:
– 
Bench Press & Push Ups
– Planks, Sit Ups, Leg Raises
– Leg Extensions, Squats & Lunges

Posterior Chain Exercises:
– 
Cable Pull Throughs
– Hamstring Curls
– Rows, Lat Pull Down & Pull Ups
– Deadlift

Training For Balance:

Whatever your goals are it remains important that you have a balanced training plan unless you are training to address an existing imbalance, eg. a front chain dominant physique.

We recommend for every Anterior exercise or workout you do that you then do a Posterior exercise or workout… You could split this in many ways, an easy way to do so is to simply have 2 workout days, #1 Anterior & #2 Posterior…you could then use a 3rd session to address any muscles missed (delts & calfs etc) or run a hybrid workout that contains key lifts from each chain.

Using large, compound movements as detailed above will also aid you in recruiting the most muscle fibres and secondary muscles such as the Biceps & Triceps.

A balanced training plan and physique will not only provide the best platform for fitness, progress & performance but will also minimise your risk of developing structural issues such as pelvic tilt & shoulder instability.

We hope that this is helpful, we’re happy to help you apply this if you simply give us a shout.

Happy Healthy,
Tom’s