Barbell Leg Workout: For Size!

Have you ever found yourself in a gym with limited equipment?

We can get comfortable in our routine using the same machines & set ups..this isn’t great for progress but also can leave you a little lost when they’re not available.

We’ve put together this leg workout that uses nothing but a barbell & the accompanying plates.

We’ve programmed it using higher (slow) rep ranges to produce a pump (metabolic overload), however you could change this to lower rep, higher weight range for the Squats & Deadlifts for a strength focused outcome.

Enjoy,
Tom’s

Technique: It Matters!

Today is a brief one where we’re looking at why good technique is so important…

In exercise, as with many things there are more than way of doing things…again though there is usually an optimum way ie. the best technique…

In exercise & sport correct technique is vital to prevent injury and protect muscles, soft tissue & joints…

Think about an overhead shoulder press…You load the bar up with as much weight as you can just about move, you then try to throw it above your head with jerky, snapping motions and lock your elbows at the top…Just imagine how much stress that places on your shoulder, rotator cuffs and elbows – it won’t be long before you pull or tear something

Benefits of Good Technique:

  • reduce risk of injury
  • activate the intended muscle fibres
  • increase muscle activation in the right area
  • quicker increase in muscle mass & strength
  • leads to heavier lifting = more calories burnt
  • development in the muscles targeted
  • more aesthetic/balanced physique
  • you won’t look stupid (if you care about this)

Tips:

  • Before you try a new exercise invest time in learning the technique
  • We release tons of technique tutorial videos
  • Ask gym staff for advice
  • Employ a Personal Trainer
  • Start light – learn the feeling before going for it
  • use mirrors
  • film your techniques & review them
  • Leave your ego at the door..technique trumps weight/speed
  • If it hurts, STOP!!!

Remember:
You don’t get in a car for the 1st time & know how to drive….Like driving exercises are a skill that must be learn’t

Happy Health,
Tom’s

Winter Vegetable Soup

Warm up with this simple & nutritious Winter Vegetable Soup…

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
Carrot 330g
Swede 250g
Potato 350g
1 leek
1 onion
200g turnip
50g cabbage
1.5ltr veg stock
1 Garlic clove
Thyme
25g butter

  • Chop all the vegetables into small pieces or slice in a food processor
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onions on a low heat until softened
  • Add the leaks and crushed garlic clove and cook for a few more minutes until cooked down
  • Add all the remaining vegetables and stir so coated in the butter
  • Cook for 5 more minutes
  • Add the vegetable stock and thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 mins or until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool and blend.
Serve & Enjoy

Challenge Yourself

Who doesn’t like the feeling of achievement?!

Setting yourself Goals & Challenges is a great way to stay motivated and something to work towards, to cap it all off at the end you get an unrivaled sense of achievement…

Your goals don’t have to be huge, they could be something as simple as improving your lap time around the park by 1 minute in the next month.

The key to setting goals & challenges is to keep them SMART…We’ve mentioned SMART goals before and undoubtedly will again, for now here is a little reminder…

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At the end of every GOAL should be a reward whether internal or external….Last Sunday that’s exactly what we got when we took some of our Boot Campers to an 5k Inflatable Obstacle Race…Not only did we all get medals and freebies but of us including our trainers felt an immense sense of achievement that already has us focused on finding our next challenge.

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What will your next challenge be?

 

What Is Pre-Exhaust Training?

As the name suggests, Pre-Exhaust training is  a system that aims to Exhaust/Fatigue a certain muscle group. This is done using an isolation exercise such as a flye or extension before moving on to a compound lift such as a press or squat.

Why Use Pre-Ehxaust?
It is important to understand that muscles work in pairs to perform movements, for example the chest pairs with the triceps to push whilst the back pairs with the biceps to pull.
With this in mind, picture the size difference between the biceps and the back, which one do you think will fatigue first?  Given the biceps considerably lower size and power output its very likely that their fatigue would prevent us from fully overloading the back.

This is where Pre-Exhaust training comes in, by using an isolation exercise such as a reverse flye we can start to fatigue the back without placing stress on the biceps, this ultimately will allow us to perform a greater volume on the compound exercise.

Studies have shown that Pre-Exhaust training is an effective method for allowing a greater volume of work resulting in greater overload and muscular adaptation.

How Do I Use Pre-Exhaust?
Perform 1-2 isolation exercises on your target muscle group (3-4 sets each) before moving to 2 compound exercises (3-4 sets each).Isolation Exercises:

  • Chest: Flyes, Cable Cross Over
  • Back: Reverse Flye, Reverse Cross Over, Straight Arm Pulldowns/Pullovers
  • Shoulders: Side Lateral Raises, Front Lateral Raises,
  • Legs: Leg Extensions, Hack Squats, Leg Presses or Squats

4 Week Case Study: Real Results

We love to share our clients successes with you, they say more than we ever could with words alone.

We use a range of body composition & fitness tests every 4 weeks to help track our clients progress and ensure that our programming is effective.

Below are some recent results from one of our awesome clients, she has only made small changes to her diet, started exercising 3x/week and still enjoys nights out & a social life…the results speak for themselves, being healthy doesn’t have to be hard.

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As you can see in just 4 weeks:

– her weight is down
– her waist is slimmer
– her body fat & BMI have dropped
– she has gained muscle on her legs and arms
– all of her fitness tests have considerable improvement

If all of this can be achieved in just 1 month, imagine what you could achieve over 6 months and longer.

We hope this helps to motivate you.
Tom’s

Health Is Not My Priority

Have you ever thought this way?

We know plenty of people that have/do.
In the stress & mayhem of daily life we often find ourselves consumed by commitments restricting both our finances and time…

This often results in us ultimately neglecting ourselves as we prioritise other things such as work, family & finance over our own health & well being…

Whilst this is common and not unexpected it often has the opposite effect, by focusing on our daily priorities we forget to question why they are so and what we truly need in order to accomplish them.

Our ‘Pyramid of Priorities’ has a familiar 1st Tier for most of us…
 STOP...and ask yourself why are these my commitments?
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The highest priority in life for every living thing is survival, this and how we feel will drive the majority of our behavior…Take it one step further and ask yourself ‘What Do I Need To Survive, NO…Flourish?’….

If your Body, Brain or Both are not functioning at optimum capacity how can you expect them to get you where you want or even NEED to be?  It’s no different to maintaining your vehicle to ensure that it transports you to where you need to be.

Today’s Top Tip: Start At The Top Of Your Pyramid.
Get this right and the rest will be considerably easier…

Happy Health,
Tom’s

Why Should I Drink Water?

Given the recent spells of hot weather it’s no surprised that we were recently asked ‘why do I need to drink more water?’.

We all know that staying hydrated is important, here’s a simple guide to why:

– your body is ~60% water
– water is used in the cleansing of the blood and removal of waste (kidneys & liver)
– water aids digestion & helps metabolise fat
– you lose water through the production of energy, cooling, breathing & numerous other functions
– the warmer you are from exercise or climate the more you sweat in an attempt to cool down
– therefore if you don’t replace it you begin to dehydrate, disrupting your bodily functions
– dehyradation can have serious effects of your liver & kidney function and lead to
– water keeps the blood runny allowing it to circulate easily, thick, dehydated blood is harder to pump which increases blood pressure and places stress on the heart

…The UK government recommends: we drink 8 glasses a day which = 2litres…
>>> If you wait until you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated….

TOP TIP
1) Fill 4x 500ml water bottles in the morning and make sure they’re empty by bed time…take them everywhere you go….Take small sips regularly rather than occasional , large gulps…
2) You can flavour your water with sliced fruit, mint, sugar free squash & herbal tea to make it more interesting